Tame Impala Releases “The Slow Rush”

Tame Impala Releases

Chris Hernan, Staff Writer

“The Slow Rush” is the highly anticipated fourth studio album by alternative rock band Tame Impala. For those who are unfamiliar, Tame Impala is a one-man psychedelic music project by Australian producer-songwriter Kevin Parker. Parker is highly acknowledged for catchy and genre-bending singles like “The Less I Know The Better” and “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards.” 

Personally, I was very eager to hear this album because I absolutely loved the singles leading up to the release of the album, like “Borderline,” “It Might Be Time,” “Lost In Yesterday,” and “Posthumous Forgiveness.” With the album’s title as well as the singles, it was apparent this album would feature a strong narrative theme about the passing of time as well as learning how to cope with it. This idea of a psychedelic concept album about time had me hooked from the start, offering a positive trajectory toward what could have been one of Tame Impala’s best commercial records. Unfortunately, in my opinion, it fell short. 

The album begins with a decent opener titled “One More Year,” an EDM-inspired track that establishes the theme of the album: Time. Specifically, Parker talks about how to utilize the time you have to live life to the fullest. In all fairness, the track is touching and reflective but mediocre with a lack of replay value.

The next track is titled “Instant Destiny,” which is a synth and drum-heavy power ballad about the excitement Parker felt before proposing to his wife. Parker had this to say about the experience that inspired the track, from the perspective of talking to his then-fiancée: “Let’s be reckless with our futures. The only thing special about the past is that it got us to where we are now… the future is our oyster.” The messages within the track are thought-provoking and the tune is catchy, but it still wasn’t necessarily a standout. 

The next couple of tracks were “Borderline” and “Posthumous Forgiveness”; both were fantastic songs but had already been released as singles so there was nothing new. The track after this, “Breathe Deeper,” was the first new highlight the album had to offer. The song is an extremely funky and danceable Mariah Carey/Pharell inspired track with pleasant lyrics about how literally deep breathing can help you through stressful situations. This is one of the only tracks that works well with Tame Impala’s experimentation with more of a dance-inspired sound, and one of the only tracks on the album that I find myself coming back to.

The next track, “Tomorrow’s Dust,” is a track that focuses heavily on the main theme of the album, with Parker urging the listener to stop dwelling on the past because time moves quickly and days are temporary. The track is easy on the ear and catchy, but it’s relatively boring and one-dimensional. 

Another highlight follows with the song “On Track,” a deeply emotional and uplifting song about pushing forward past hard times to reach your goals. The track starts off slow and builds up to a powerful synth-heavy chorus that resonates throughout the rest of the song.

This follows the single “Lost In Yesterday,” another funky dance-pop hit with an incredibly catchy bassline. The song is all about learning to let go of things from the past and/or coming to terms with them. The pre-chorus sums it up well, with the lyrics stating, “If it calls you, embrace it/ If it haunts you, face it.”

The next song, “Is It True,” is another funky dance track with a catchy bassline–with lyrics written from the perspective of “someone who shuts out love because they’re afraid of the future.” Although the song is catchy and fun, its one-dimensional nature makes it another forgettable track, in my opinion.

The following track was the first single that made me excited for the release of this album as well as my favorite song on the album: “It Might Be Time.” A 1970’s inspired synth-heavy pop-rock track, “It Might Be Time” is a catchy and captivating song with quirky lyrics about “your own inner paranoid thoughts telling you you’ve lost your mojo.” I come back to listen to this track the most. 

“Glimmer” is the title of the next track, which just seems like an oddly placed 80’s synth-pop interlude. Honestly, I completely wrote this track off.

And finally, the closer on the album is titled, “One More Hour,” a callback to the first track, “One More Year,” an intentional perspective on none other than the passage of time. Similar to “On Track,” the song starts off slow with quiet piano and builds up to an intense release of guitar riffs and drums. This track is meant to simulate the feeling of anticipation when thinking about all you’ve done to lead you where you are in life, and feeling that all coming to ahead. It was definitely a powerful and fitting closer, but still, one that I don’t usually return to.

In its entirety, I thought the album definitely stuck to its algorithm and theme, creating a pretty cohesive concept album about the passage of time and how it affects Parker himself as well as any individual. However, the new EDM-inspired sound that Parker went for on this project took away a lot of what I love about Tame Impala in the first place. This project felt lazier than a lot of Parker’s other albums and left me wanting more.