Tame Impala - The Slow Rush
62
Um, hot take?

I've been listening to this for almost a week now, and listened to it twice after its release before talking about it now, and I can sayI'd use this album title to explain its making tbh, but whatever. Tame Impala is one of my fav bands that stood out to me with their psychedelic style and solid, consistent discog so far. I still listen to Lonerism regularly, and while I love Currents a bit less than its predecessor, I still find their switch to pop very great and interesting.

And this album is the logical sequel to Currents, as it's diving into pop even more, and using more trendy and contemporary sounds as bases for the tracks. But the big detail, is that they traded a bit of their psychedelic twist, for more groove, more punch and more diversity, which isn't bad. If anything, it's refreshing and very much in Tame Impala's abilities. I didn't want them to make the same album twice.

However, the execution is kinda shaky, and the result is a mixed bag. To take it track by track we have the intro track that was a bad sign for me. The instrumental falls flat before the finish of the track, Parker sounds kinda awkward on there, and the song overall devolves into background music very quickly. The second track has the same flaws: it almost sounds as if the album doesn't know if it wants to go psychedelic or groovy, which gives us this mess of a beginng.

Thankfully, things get a lot better on Borderline, a teaser track from TSR. The woodwind sounds amazing, the instrumental is focused, and Parker's performance is solid and haunting and is a ton less monotonous than the ones before this one. But it's sad that it's placed before the absolute mess that is Posthumous Forgiveness. The synths on the first leg sound like something Tyler would make. The instrumentation sounds like it came straight out of sn Egyptian desert. The vibe is there until that tasteless, terrible drop comes in with no apparent reason and ruins the entire track. Sounds like a slowed + reverbed Death Grips-ish trashing, doesn't complement the vibe at all. The second leg is smoother and better, but doesn't save the track, as the two parts are mashed together in this rushed, irresponsible fashion without any sort of significant linkage between them. I wouldn't know they're the same track if I wasn't looking at the tracklisting.

Breathe Deeper is fortunately another highlight: Isn't too complex, the synth-play and the piano leads are mixed beautifully. The structure of the song is great, as it intensifies at many points very naturally. The repetitive chorus isn't S-tier but I'll take it. Tomorrow's Dust is more indie-driven, not too bad but isn't as great as the better tracks at this point. There's some sort of a skit at its end that is, again, put together not in the most professional, flawless way, which just ruins the vibe for the time it rolls. On track is another instance where Parker sounds not too in place, seems lost in his own environment. His singing is far from bad, but doesn't stick the landing, which is strange because when accompanied with the effects and reverb, he normally excels in this kinds of psychedelic field.

5 tracks left now, and I gotta say, this is where the album finally gets consistent and great all throughout. The trippy/groovy formula seems to finally seep in in a natural way, and the song elements doesn't feel confused anymore. Lost in Yesterday is a banger for the ages, one of my favourite Tame tracks ever, Parker really nails the chorus and verses this time. It is Time is as good, this time being more synth funk inspired, and Their take on the style is very slick, smooth and accurate. Kevin brings his MJ on here, and oulls off a great performance and doesn't get outshined by the flawless production. It Might Be Time is similar to the previous track in title and in style, but slower and more a vibe than a banger, still finds its way into the top half in the album track ranking.

Glimmer is sort of a late interlude, leading up to the final track, that has connection with the very first track, and embraces a similar style, but this time it's more grand, more epic, as the emotional peaks are more apparent, and Kevin gets out a heartfelt performance that beautifully concludes this album.

So, I'm not very disappointed with The Slow Rush. And I'm still having Tame Impala on my radar. This isn't an awful album by any means, and it still holds some of their best cuts, but it is my least favourite by them, mainly becuase of the big inconsistency that was mostly at the first moments of the album.
The experience doesn't feel like being literally elevated like on Lonerism, but it's still a fun listen. And I'm looking forward to where will they go from here.
4 Comments
2d ago
I agree with a lot of what you say, but Posthumous Forgiveness is my favorite track on the whole album. But I definitely agree, don’t rly see where these 80+ scores are coming from.
2d ago
@jebbennett2424 good for you if you like that track, i couldn't get into it at all.
and idk im also confused for the positive reception like how is this rivaling Lonerism
1d ago
@_zeltrxn17 The great thing about Tame Impala is that he hasn't made the same album twice, and each album speaks to a different style of songwriting that different people gravitate towards. I am of the opinion that The Slow Rush is his best album, but I can absolutely understand and respect why Lonerism, Currents, and even InnerSpeaker are considered the best, because each speaks to a different place, a different mindset, a different vibe, a different attitude. If you don't like certain tracks, it made sense. If you like certain tracks, it's understandable. And this subjectivity is understandable for most groups, but it's especially noticeable for Kevin just because of his general album diversity and overall skill in crafting enjoyable songs.
1d ago
@LZGray that's fair. Tame Impala is definitely the kind of band that you'd still respect and stay with them even if they come out with a somewhat mediocre record. I still admire their stylistic shifts and they show a logical evolution as time goes on.
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