I think it is fair to say that Kevin Parker’s one-man-band Tame Impala is the Pink Floyd of this generation. The total number of hours spent by 14-18 year olds crying about unrequited love and marveling at the beauty of nature whilst listening to Tame Impala is a hilariously large number. 

Personally, I encountered Tame Impala’s music at an incredibly formative time in my life with Currents. I played that record front to back almost incessantly when I was about 16, and though it is easy to lampoon the universal cherishing of Currents by teenagers everywhere, some very serious and concrete tunes still exist to speak truth to it. Tracks like Let It Happen, The Less I Know The Better, and New Person, Same Old Mistakes swiftly nudged Parker in a new dance oriented direction while still championing his emphasis on inward reflection and intimate anxieties.

Around this time last year, Kevin dropped two tracks with a distinctly more beat driven singles, Patience and Borderline. The real allure of these tracks was the fact that, while melody was a prominent element of them, both of them leaned quite heavily on the drum tracks. Borderline would be revealed to be serving as the first single to The Slow Rush upon its announcement in October of 2019.

Now, almost a year after the release of Patience and Borderline, Parker has released quite a telegraphed 57 minute follow through. 

Parker made an excellent point concerning the connection between suffering and art, and music as therapy that I think is incredibly pertinent to this album cycle. Parker told NME prior to the albums released that, “Part of the thing about me starting an album is that I have to feel kind of worthless again to want to make music”. To me, what Parker was trying to do, at least thematically, on The Slow Rush was trying to emulate the ambiance of Currents, and I don’t really see that as anything artistically productive. Given this, the quote, and the sheer lyrical depth of Currents, it seems like Kevin’s life didn’t really facilitate the catharsis he sought in music like it did on his past record, though his relationship with his father and the discomfort of having your life together are prominent themes on The Slow Rush. I don’t think Parker’s life was bad enough to create music good enough to fix it. He just got married, right?

Aside from this, much of what irks me about The Slow Rush is its occasional mindless production. Tame Impala is defined by the prevalence of reverb and other affects characteristic of the psych rock genre, but cuts like Instant Destiny, Tomorrow’s Dust, and Glimmer rest their laurels on it. Tracks like One More Year, Borderline, and Lost in Yesterday are the album’s jewels, and show that the albums best tracks are almost exclusively the albums most melodic tracks. 


A lot of what The Slow Rush seems to be is little more than scraping the barrel that Currents came out of, and not that it wasn’t scraped fairly fruitfully, the act of denying the album a chance to represent a departure from past artistic efforts is the true disappointment.