Artist: Tame Impala
Album: The Slow Rush
Genre: Psychedelic Pop/Electronic/Disco
Label: Island Records
It seems as if “Tame Impala” have had acclaim from the start. Lead by sole member Kevin Parker who composes and arranges the majority of the music, “Tame Impala” has been an inescapable name in both the “Indie Rock” world and the “Pop” world, but what “Tame Impala” once was is not entirely the same as what “Tame Impala” is now, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The Kevin Parker we knew back during the time of the Psychedelic-heavy Innerspeaker, and the vulnerable Kevin Parker we knew on the introspective Lonerism, an album that was a voice for the lonely and those whom suffer from society’s misguided view on introversion is now a new Kevin Parker, but he hasn’t abandoned introspection and vulnerability. In fact, the majority of the tracks on his new album The Slow Rush are incredibly introspective with lyrical themes heavy on existentialism and nostalgia, but at this point in time it sounds like Parker is instrumentally more concerned with making us dance, trading in the LSD-soaked Psychedelia and fuzzy guitars of his early work for lush synths and Electro-Pop melodies drawing from Funk, Disco, and Synth-Pop. Very much like what he was doing on his previous album Currents, and there lies the good and bad of The Slow Rush. Not much has changed on this album, which prompts one to believe that Parker is either playing it safe, or truly isn’t finished experimenting with this sound but isn’t reaching anything that is breaking new ground. Though both albums are cut from the same cloth, The Slow Rush isn’t without it’s gems. The opening track “One More Year” is a message to the fear of life becoming stagnant, “Breathe Deeper” is a lush and sexy banger with a refrain that will stick in your head for days, and “It Might Be Time” features a surprising contrast of joyful instrumentation and existentialist lyrics. However, a lot of these tracks sound like Currents throwaways and don’t quite deliver anything memorable or anything that keeps them from being disposable. That isn’t to say this album isn’t a smooth listen though, because when this album shines, it SHINES, and much of it is cohesive, but I feel like the next “Tame Impala” album needs to be vastly different, or Parker needs to hone this style and create an album with consistent replay value.
Written By: Steven Sandoval