Kevin Parker, better known as Tame Impala, released his fourth album, “The Slow Rush,” in mid-February of 2020. Parker is an Australian musician known for his psychedelic rhythms and unique style. He has produced multiple hits and is beloved by other artists. His name gained popularity after Rihanna released a cover of his 2015 song “New Person, Same Old Mistakes,” and Travis Scott enlisted his help in producing “Skeletons” off of his 2018 album “Astroworld.”
“The Slow Rush” had high expectations following the 2015 release of “Currents,” a popular album among fans. Interestingly, “The Slow Rush” is unlike any other album released by Tame Impala; It has only been performed a handful of times in over 6 months since its release. COVID-19’s period of isolation offered a chance for listeners to experience the album in a totally new light.
The album opens with “One More Year,” a song detailing a repetition of Parker’s life events. “One More Year” has many levels, as Parker’s voice explains the never-ending cycle of a boring life, while the beat resembles a man slowly mouthing the words “one more year.” Parker’s line “Cause I get this feeling and maybe you get it too. We’re on a rollercoaster stuck on its loop-de-loop,” miraculously captures both the satisfaction and frustration of a routine life.
The tracklist goes on to tell a story of overcoming this routine. The fourth track, “Posthumous Forgiveness,” seems to be the turning point of the album. Parker appears to accept and forgive his reminiscing of the past, hence the title. Parker once again defies the norms by offering this turning point mid-song, as the music lulls down at what seems to be the end of the song, when a new rhythm picks up, showing the actual change of tone. The upbeat rhythms persist in tracks like “On Track,” “Lost in Yesterday, “Is it True,” and “It Might Be Time.” All these songs reflect their titles, each a step in the journey to a new life. “On Track” shows the listener that Parker is taking the right path toward his goal, no matter the struggles. “Lost in Yesterday” is Parker’s realization that it is essential to let go of the past, a concept captured in the last verse reading, “And if it calls you. Embrace it. If it holds you. Erase it.” “Is it True” is the album’s feel-good track, as its catchy flow tells that Parker is content with accepting what the future holds. “It Might be Time to face it” finalizes this message of the future by saying, “you may as well embrace it.” The final song, “One More Hour,” shows the progress made and the craziness of the present and future, represented by the ever-changing tones.
Parker’s storytelling ability is exemplary throughout the album, and the thought process behind it, complex. Parker mentions in an Apple Music interview that the album is meant to be listened to anywhere. In Parker’s words, whether you’re in LA or in a secluded shack in Australia, “The Slow Rush” should sound the same and tell the same story, making it a truly brilliant album.