Review: Tame Impala slows his roll in new album "The Slow Rush"

Tame Impala's new albums was released on Feb. 14. 

“The Slow Rush” explores the concept of time. It reveals how time can control one’s deepest thoughts but also the surface-level worries of everyday life. Tame Impala’s new album showcases incredible, groovy bass lines and hard-hitting drum beats that make you want to close your eyes, nod your head and feel the music. 

Kevin Parker, more famously known as Tame Impala, released his last album, “Currents,” in July 2015. The Australian singer/songwriter and producer’s popularity took off from there, and he became known worldwide as an electronic pop/rock sensation. 

Fast forward to 2020, Tame Impala’s long-awaited, full-length album was put out to the world on Feb. 14. Tame Impala slowly released singles “Borderline,” “Posthumous Forgiveness” and “Lost in Yesterday” in anticipation of the completed album. 

Tame Impala begins “The Slow Rush” with a song called “One More Year.” This track explores the notion of being blissfully trapped in the routine of life and doing the same thing every year, week and day, but loving it. The traveling, firing synths and melodic drum beat is what makes this song hypnotic and gets the listener excited for the rest of the album.

The third track on the album, “Borderline,” is one of its most solid classics. Tame Impala decided to adjust this song for the album release and it is significantly groovier and bass-heavy than the original single release. Carefully crafted, the verses explore the idea of being unaware of the unknown. 

“On Track” is the ultimate ballad of the album. It is an optimistic track that explains what it means to experience hardship, pain and troubles, but to keep pursuing the way to success. Tame Impala sings, “More than a minor setback/But strictly speaking, I'm still on track.” The layering of bass, drum, guitar and synth is simple, which adds to the individuality and power of this track. 

“It Might Be Time” is two tracks down from “On Track.” These two songs couldn’t be more different. “It Might Be Time” showcases blown-out drums in its forefront and repeated, ringing synths. In some areas of the song, the drums took away from the beauty and harsh significance of the words in “It Might Be Time.” This song speaks from the negative thoughts within and facing them, instead of ignoring the negative thoughts and looking past them, like in “On Track.” Tame Impala sings, “You ain’t as cool as you used to be, no/You won’t recover.”

“Lost in Yesterday” is for the over-thinkers. Tame Impala sings over a groovy drum beat about what it is like to over-romanticize the past and to overthink things that have been done. 

He sings, “You’ve been digging it up like Groundhog Day." The song is lyrically one of the most relatable hits on the album and musically one of the most stunning. 

“Nostalgia is a drug that we can sometimes be addicted to,” Tame Impala said in a Spotify video. 

Some other soft-synth tracks released on the album, “Tomorrow’s Dust,” “Instant Destiny” and “Glimmer" made noteworthy additions to the versatile album. Bongos, prominent guitar chords and shakers were unique among these three. But because of the similarities, they didn’t individually demand the attention of the listener. These songs were stunningly composed but, ultimately, were lost in the album.

There were some tracks on the record that gave off serious Earth, Wind & Fire vibes. “Borderline,” “Is It True” and “Breathe Deeper” were the handful that truly stood out as '70s-inspired tracks and ended up being some of the best on the record. 

“Breathe Deeper” is the grooviest, most down-to-earth song of “The Slow Rush.” It encapsulates everything a Tame Impala hit has: the low groove, the unique drum beat, the traveling synth and the psychedelic bass loop. This song is arguably the best on the album. It makes you want to get up and dance, and the repeated, catchy verses make it easy to do that. 

Concluding the album, Tame Impala cleverly names the last track “One More Hour,” sticking to themes of time and the hourglass from beginning to end. The epic, final track is a seven-minute song that explores the feeling of turning a chapter and not looking back. 

"The Slow Rush" is another Tame Impala masterpiece. Its solid concept, carefully crafted instrument loops and powerful lyrics create a beautifully curated record. 

Tame Impala is on tour and fans in Spokane who are sticking around this summer can see him at The Gorge Amphitheater on Aug. 7. Get tickets now to experience “The Slow Rush” on a whole new level.

Rating: 8/10

Allie Noland is a staff writer.

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