ALBUM REVIEWS // Tame Impala - The Slow Rush: "a hypnotising meditation on the trials of time"
Anna De Vivo, Head of Blogs,
Kevin Parker’s newest album, The Slow Rush delivers exactly what the title suggests: a hypnotising meditation on the trials of time. Far from our surprise, full of vibey riffs and trance-like loops, Tame delivers yet again with another highly perfected album. Parker sophisticatedly infuses generic layers in one trance-like continuum, including aspects of late-70s pop-rock and disco-funk. Tame’s re-emergence after the release of Currents five-years ago proves that he’s back and here to stay.
A predominant theme throughout the album is its insistence on time; opening with ‘One More Year, the celestial keys of the song, paired alongside the gradual insistence of the drum beat matches Parker’s bass heavy second album Lonerism. This contrasts his uncharacteristically free- floating vocals frequented throughout Currents, as he progresses to dissect the contents of a year in a rhythmic yet nervous plea to grasp time.
This is followed by ‘Instant Destiny’. One of the biographically inspired songs on the album, Parker marks his commitment to his wife Sophie Lawrence. In a hasty plea for stability that best sums up our generation’s attitude towards marriage, Parker recalls a characteristic spontaneity through the repetition of ‘I’m about to do something crazy’. The song concludes after the last verse as the synths harmoniously glitter into a satisfying stasis.
‘Posthumous Forgiveness’ is one of the more emotionally complex songs of the album. Once again drawing from his life experiences, Parker reflects on his strained relationship with his father. Like the quickening of sand slipping out of an hourglass, the song crescendos into a climactic desperation with distorted gritty strings overlaid yearning lyrics. Yet the song shifts halfway through. As opposed to part I, part II suggests Parker coming to terms with the loss of his father. Parker’s mellowed yet wavering synths and the refrain: ‘Wanna tell you 'bout the time/ Wanna tell you 'bout my life/ Wanna play you all my songs/ And hear your voice sing along’ suggests a reconciliation as he comes to terms with his father’s fallibility.
In ‘On Track’, Parker goes through the motions as he convinces himself that everything will be alright if he perseveres. A test in musical resilience, he meditates on the creation of this album and the expectations people have of him: ‘I know it’s been a slow year/ Nothing much to show here.’ The song is complex as he infuses swelling piano of power ballads with psychedelic synths, it’s clear that Parker’s inspiration of Supertramp and Meat Loaf shine through. ‘On Track’ almost seems like a sigh after finally completing something as he ends it with the final line, ‘The rest gets easy’.
The last song of the album, ‘One More Hour’ sums up this chronographic saga, with the final lines fading out: ‘Just a minute, batter up before you go out there/ All your voices said you wouldn't last a minute there’. The Slow Rush tries to outrace time as Parker battles his inner demons in this anthemic and confessional album. Parker has finally mustered up the courage to face the limits of time.