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So, here it is, the most anticipated indie record in recent years – the fourth Tame Impala album, titled The Slow Rush. The album title, glorious artwork and many of the songs themselves are informed by the idea of the passing of time; the blink and you’ll miss it facet of a fast-paced modern life. A notion that Kevin Parker, with a meteoric shift from playing clubs of 200 to headlining festivals of almost 200,000 (Glastonbury headliner in 2019), can certainly attest to. Parker recently put out an apology to fans for being “a bit quiet for the last 4 billion years”, adding that he hates giving anything that “isn’t the best my entire heart and soul and brain can give.” Anybody thinking Parker may take the easy money at this point should probably think again. The Slow Rush is available in three double LP variants; ‘dark forest green’ vinyl, red and blue vinyl, or standard black. All vinyl editions include printed inner sleeves and fold-out A3 poster. A digital download is included.
1. One More Year 2. Instant Destiny 3. Borderline 4. Posthumous Forgiveness 5. Breathe Deeper 6. Tomorrow's Dust 7. On Track 8. Lost In Yesterday 9. Is It True 10. It Might Be Time 11. Glimmer 12. One More Hour
Kevin Parker has, without question, now hit four for four.
What becomes the clearest truth as you listen is that The Slow Rush is a more straightforward record than Currents. That doesn’t mean easier or less good; just that some of the intensity and difficult narrative of Currents isn’t here and that The Slow Rush is a more natural album to listen to. Where Currents felt harassed and dangerous, The Slow Rush is far less urgent. Not to take its name too literally but The Slow Rush really does move at a languid pace. Songs burn slowly and groove without breaking sweat; the record is after all built entirely around the idea of the passing of time.
This slovenly approach also produces some of Parker’s gentlest moments yet. ‘Tomorrow’s Dust’ veers a little close to electro-pop ballad but thrillingly is one of the few tracks in many years that come somewhere close to the very first album. It has the offbeat snappy drums and the swirling psychedelic flange that was synonymous with Innerspeaker all those years ago. On Track continues the down-tempo theme, though for the first time does start to risk the chill-wave approach overstay its welcome.
Perhaps to be expected if you’ve followed the evolution of Tame Impala, The Slow Rush is even further along the electronica scale – at times almost entirely unrecognisable to the Tame of a decade ago; that is until Parker glides in with his swooning “who else but Kevin Parker” vocal, the one constant of every Tame record.
This is an album founded on reflection and times gone by and if you are content without Currents II then you’ll be happy. Where The Slow Rush fits in your Tame Impala best ever album poll is up for debate, but what is for sure is that Parker has, without question, now hit four for four.