Album Review: Tame Impala – The Slow Rush

It has been five years since we have heard from Tame Impala. Has it been worth the wait? The answer is a conclusive meh. This might just be because it was the fun marriage of pop songs with elements of strangeness and risk that I enjoyed in his other albums. You don’t get that at all in The Slow Rush. Overall, not a great album, with some songs standing out a bit more than others, but not really. This isn’t a sit-down-listen-to-the-whole-thing-in-one-go kind of album. Put it on at 3AM when the party’s finished and the booze is long gone. 

The album starts off well with “One Year”, having a strange, looped vocal sample that plays throughout the whole song. Nothing really changes from start to finish, although it doesn’t really need to, it is a beautiful sound. The groove is fun with some bongos in the mix that provide an interesting change of pace. 

Around track three “Borderline”, I had a thought that I just couldn’t get out of my head for the rest of the album: This is just like Random Access Memories! The more I listened, the more it became real, both Daft Punk and Tame Impala being pretty much in the same point of their careers when creating those albums. Both highly critically and commercially successful, both had taken a long break, both being able to come back with anything they wanted. Daft Punk did it by cutting off their expansive loops, and just crafted weapon grade pop music (seven year later, somewhere in the world Get Lucky is still playing on the radio). In the case of Tame Impala, Kevin Parker has gotten rid of experimentation for … kind of nothing. The only thing you can really say about these songs is that they sound like Tame Impala, though you forget them.

The songs are longer, with a few six-seven minute songs, but nothing blows your mind in the same way that Let It Happen did on the last album. Everything is pretty-sounding, The Slow Rush being altogether a good chill-out album. That isn’t what I come to Tame Impala for. Disappointingly, nothing seems to jump out as much as his past albums. 

The first six tracks on this album pretty much sound and feel the same, the tone of the instruments not changing as much as it has done on his other albums. With the instrumentation all sounding the same his trademark echo vocals become much more grating than on any other album. 

It isn’t until “On Track” that we get a change of pace, a much bigger anthemic sound with huge piano chords spaced out. After that, it just goes into the same kind of groove that has been used fom the whole album. 

The Slow Rush feels all in one tone, and it suffers because of it. Everything kind of melts together into a much more boring listen when compared to his other works. 

Featured image by chuffmedia

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