Review: Tame Impala’s “The Slow Rush” Takes Its Time Wowing Listeners
If you have been a fanatic of the music scene during sometime in the last 10 years, then you know that Kevin Parker, better known by the name Tame Impala, has been pushing the boundaries of music and the way it is created since 2010. His 2015 album “Currents” brought a new sound to the industry and set the standard for what modern music could be. It was an outside-the-box album that broke down genre barriers, and its influences can be heard in other modern music to this day.
Although fans were thoroughly satisfied with the album for years, they started to wonder when a new Tame Impala album would hit the public once again. Finally, after five years of waiting, their questions were answered with the announced release of “The Slow Rush,” Tame Impala’s fourth studio album.
Released last Friday, Feb. 14, “The Slow Rush” had high expectations to fulfil; which I believe were certainly met. Tame Impala has a unique sound that can’t be replicated by any other artist, and it can definitely be heard once again on this album. That being said, Parker still manages to make “The Slow Rush” differ just enough from his other albums that it is fresh; showing a little bit more pop influence than before, to name one quality.
This variance in styling, while still keeping consistency, has always been a part of Tame Impala’s discography. In an interview with Zane Lowe for Apple Music, Parker said, “I don’t expect people to be on the journey with me the whole way. I expect people to get on the train and then get off at the next station. It sounds like I don’t care about my fans, but in a way, I’d be slightly disappointed if everyone that liked the first album liked every album after that.”
With the pop-influenced sound of the new album, there is never a dull moment; no stretch of the album feels dragged out or boring. The record flows from one song to the next, while managing to be a cohesive and complete piece of music in the process. This cohesion is most likely due to the fact that it is a completely solo album; with Kevin composing and performing all of the instrumentals and vocals himself, as well as writing all of the lyrics.
One staple of Tame Impala that shines brightly in each song of “The Slow Rush” is the rhythm and drum beats. When Lowe asked about his approach to the rhythm of the songs, he said that he created some of the songs with no beat on them, and then played drums along to them as he listened in order to create the most natural-sounding drum beat. “Rhythms to me are almost more important than the melodic chords. I think (the drums) have been the cornerstone of my music without me even realizing it,” Kevin says. “This album I really wanted to push that.”
From the rich instrumentals and melodic beats to the abstract lyrics, every moment of “The Slow Rush” feels like it was meticulously tweaked and perfected. After all, the album was created little by little over a span of about two years. Having so much time to process the album and work on it in many different locations allowed everything to come together naturally. Kevin explained his process as, “I was just kind of doing things without worrying about time and creating when it came to me, having fun and not really forcing it. I didn’t even have a grand plan or anything.”
I choose to believe that the title, “The Slow Rush,” has something to do with this method of creation. It was a slow and thought-out journey to make the album, but there is also a more upbeat and fast-paced feel compared to some of his past projects. It is almost as if Kevin was anticipating the day that he gets to show the world that Tame Impala is still here, and that it stands the test of time.
Verdict: 5 out of 5 Stars
Review by Davis Ihde
At a Glance:
Album: The Slow Rush
Artist: Tame Impala
Release Date: February 14, 2020
Label: Universal Music Australia