Part of me was hoping that this would be my first 100...it Is not
However, that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the shit out of this.
Upfront, I am quite the Tame Impala fan, as many of us are. Currents is my highest rated album on AOTY, so part of me was hoping that Slow Rush would eclipse it.
I think Slow Rush expands on the vibe-centered, neo-psych elements of Currents. A lot of the tracks are drum driven, with swirly twirly synth leads and reverb out of the ass. Combine that with the occasional siren, sick bass drop, or acoustic guitar (And a lot of other shit too, I’m just stupid and only like loud, obvious things) and you have a rich palate of sound. Plus, a lot of the motion tracking of the sounds is super cool, like if those 8D Audio conversions of songs were actually good.
Currents’ peaks and troughs are miles apart, IMO. It comes out of the gate huge with Let It Happen, and then cools off pretty quickly until you get a few tracks in. Slow Rush’s intro track, One More Year, I think exemplifies exactly what you’re going to get from this album: music to vibe to, which is more glitchy and experimental than anything Kevin Parker has released in the past. What helps Currents is that the highs are very, very high. The Less I Know..., Let It Happen, ‘Cause I’m a Man, and Yes I’m Changing are all epic, once in a lifetime tracks for me. I think the only cut that comes close off of TSR is Posthumous Forgiveness, which is really driven by the intensity of the first half. I feel like I’m making it sound like I fucking hate this record. I’m going to stop comparing and let TSR stand on its own, because it really deserves to.
All of the singles, INCLUDING BORDERLINE YOU FREAKING LUNATICS, were great. I was actually afraid that none of the album tracks would live up to the precedent they had to follow. I think there are two duds, Is It True and Glimmer. They just don’t bring what I was looking for. Other than that, everything on this album fucking slaps. Breathe Deeper, Tomorrow’s Dust, and On Track is a great stretch of tracks, with Tomorrow’s Dust being my favorite of the three and probably in my top 3 for the project. The closer, One More Hour, brings it full circle thematically while providing the most insane range of sounds on the album. It’s like being on the event horizon of a black hole, watching the stars, planets, and visible light freeze in time as you watch your own body begin to spaghettify, all the while reliving the events in your life that brought you to this moment, wishing you could make amends with everyone you let down or tell anyone close to you how much they mean to you. Wow. Deep. Anyways...
Another plus is that this album doesn’t sacrifice the integrity of the lyrics with the added focus of experimentation. Some of the concepts and boards pried by Parker are more dense than anything he has ever approached before. Marital happiness, forgiving those who can not defend themselves, struggling with relevance...uh...others...
It’s hard to be disappointed with an album that I ranked in the 90’s...I was just hoping this would be the one. The search continues. Regardless, this album doesn’t have a Less I Know or Elephant on it, but it is the most thorough and consistent Tame Impala project to date. I just hope this isn’t the last go for Tame Impala.