This past Valentine’s Day, Tame Impala released their anticipated album called “The Slow Rush.” With this release, it is clear there has been a shift in tone from past albums. While many songs in his past work have shown a clear internal conflict between Kevin Parker’s negative and positive emotions, this album surprisingly maintains a more optimistic tone.
The album begins with “One More Year” where the attitude of “screw it, why not” becomes an evident theme. Also, the track introduces the theme of time, which is also incorporated into the entire album and included in the cover art, where sand represents time in an hourglass. Though the song has a decent, carefree message, it was not the best choice to begin the album since it has a relatively weak melody.
While the beginning of the album is rather lighthearted, a shift in tone begins with “Borderline,” which was one of the singles released before the album. In this track, Parker reflects on how he is going too far with the temptations in his life. However, there is a dramatic change toward the end of the song where he accepts that the past remains in the past and he must look forward, and he begins to sober up. This song has a stronger tempo, causing the listener to feel less of a depressing tone and begin to mirror Parker’s more optimistic feeling.
This theme of acceptance of the past continues with the most interesting track on the album, “Posthumous Forgiveness.” The song is extremely intimate as it addresses Parker’s resentment towards his deceased father. The melody is rather mysterious during this first half to reflect this complex topic. In the middle of the track, there is a shift and a pause, causing the track to have the same shift of optimism as the previous tracks. This part of the song is when Parker explores his complicated feelings, but ultimately fades into an acceptance and forgiveness for his father. This track is the best of the album, not only due to the apparent shift in tone, but also because of the sheer intimacy Parker brings to the song.
On a lighter note, the most melodically strong track on this album is “Breathe Deeper.” Parker is responding to anyone who does not think they are able to get through the stress of everyday life. Parker says it is completely possible to just focus on the fun in life. This entire track is a fantastic life motto and too catchy to ignore.
The album ends with the track “One More Hour,” which, quite honestly, feels as though it goes on for an entire year. While this is an adequate track to place in the album for a sense of closure and to tie everything up, it is overall not a strong way to end the album.
Overall, out of the songs which had not been released as singles, the album was not as strong as usual. However, the album as a whole is extremely strong, but it would have been better to move quicker, keeping people waiting on some of the more catchy songs instead of releasing so many early. However, the album is lyrically the strongest from Parker and is the strongest piece of art he has made. Tame Impala lovers can only hope Parker continues to create and release something great again soon.