By Kyle Jackson
Australian artist Tame Impala has been no stranger to critical attention throughout their now four LP discography. Mastermind Kevin Parker always manages to innovate while still keeping signature psychedelic production. His newest effort The Slow Rush is no different, which performs effortlessly across all twelve tracks. However, its biggest drawback can be attributed to repetition of ideas, and lack of a certain personality found in each of his other releases.
The opener “One More Year” offers insight into the idea of another go around, which tells us Parker had trouble with this record. You can tell in the way he marketed the record both on Instagram and Facebook that he was struggling to find drum patterns and inspiration for deeper cuts, and it shows on the opener. Although layered with erie vocal effects and a popping kit of drums, the track does little motivating for the rest of the record and doesn’t feel as though it belongs as an opener.
Parker brightens up the record with tracks such as “Instant Destiny” and “Tomorrow’s Dust,” while helping us along the LP with the interlude “Glimmer,” but all three of these tracks are easily forgettable after one listen since they lack the catch factor found on so many other Tame Impala projects.
All the while, “It Might Be Time,” a leading single, finds a way to be entirely different than most of Parker’s work with wailing siren-like synthesizers. Regardless of the innovation, this track becomes overbearing and fabricated on repeat listens as well.
“Posthumous Forgiveness” is possibly the most sonically impressive track on the entire record, and utilizes a complex array of bongo drums as well as synths to deliver the message of fatherly love. Parker makes us understand that this track means a lot to him, and it shows in his crafting of lyrics, as well as eclectic soundscapes.
The Slow Rush shines brightest in simplicity. If one thing is certain, Parker understands rhythm. Infectious baselines and drum kits on songs like “Breathe Deeper,” “Is It True,” and “Lost In Yesterday,” make for one of the best dance collections of the last decade. It’s so easy to just listen and enjoy that you can’t help but return.
Possibly the most shining example of effective dance-inspired production is the remade “Borderline.” It stands now as one of Parker’s best songs, not only for its ability to make you move, but for its endearing production style.
As a whole The Slow Rush may be Parker’s most “expensive” sounding record. However, this is likely the biggest flaw. Some of the less impressive tracks begin to sound fabricated. Hearing that about an artist that has been such a tour-de-force for so long in psychedelic music means a lot, and is why the album is possibly his weakest to date.
Drawbacks aside, the quality is here, and some tracks shine as bright as the sun, making this a great album overall.
Best Track: Borderline