Since the release of “Currents” in 2015, Kevin Parker’s psychedelic pop/rock music project has expanded its fanbase, reaching more hip-hop and pop music fandoms. The band achieved such prominence in media that other mainstream artists such as Rihanna and Arctic Monkeys started covering Parker’s music.
In between working on Tame Impala’s projects, Parker dived more into producing for popular artists. He collaborated with Mark Ronson on Ronson’s album “Late Night Feelings,” helped produce Lady Gaga’s song “Perfect Illusion” and worked on Travis Scott’s “Skeletons” off of Scott’s album “Astroworld.”
So, what exactly can Tame Impala fans expect from Kevin Parker’s new album “The Slow Rush?”
Tame Impala remains faithful to the psychedelic sound and influences that have made the band so beloved in the 2010s. In essence, the album is similar to 2015’s “Currents,” but the album has more percussion to the instrumentals as well as a recurring theme of the intricacies of time.
“The Slow Rush” spans across 12 tracks with a total length of 57 minutes and features a consistent progressive pop-rock sound that gives the songs a second or, at times, third act. The sonically infectious instrumentals will easily cause listeners to lose their train of thought and dive deeper into a blissfully existential moment.
The album’s lead single “Borderline” lyrically talks about a person experiencing a relationship that is caught in a line of questioning. “Will I be known and loved? Is there one that I trust,” are repeated in the hook and further explain the protagonist’s rocky situation. The lead single used notably different elements than other typical Tame Impala songs by including flutes and percussions.
Songs with progressive rock elements on this album contain several parts within a single song that keep the tracks exciting. Parker talks about dealing with anxiety in stressful situations on “Breathe Deeper.” The use of house pianos and synths creates a spaced-out atmosphere that fits with Parker’s dream-like vocals like a glove.
Parker’s lyrics throughout the album are hauntingly self-reflective; the artist sings of perseverance and still moving past struggles on the song “On Track.” On a lighter note, the opening song “One More Year” speaks of the passage of time and living in the moment without regard to the fleeting curse of living.
Tame Impala’s most surprising work is rarely the six-to-seven minute long songs, but rather the interludes. The interlude “Glimmer” is a glitzy dance track that is similar to a Daft Punk b-side and is only has a few disco components missing from calling this a disco interlude.
“One More Hour” concludes the album and is the sister track to the opening song “One More Year.” Parker said the song represents “the last hour of that year, you know like where have we come to?” The song starts off with a minimalist piano that slowly builds upon guitar riffs, smooth vocals and an erratic drumbeat.
The complex instrumentals and the emotionally transparent lyrics all on the album combine to create a thematically vivid image of the life inside the mind of a 34-year-old man.
Despite the album rarely reaching the musical highs from his last LP, the album solidifies its own identity among Parker’s discography and remains an amazingly refreshing listen to both new and old fans. “The Slow Rush” makes itself a worthy addition to the legacy (and possible future musical legend) Kevin Parker.