With the release of Currents in 2015, Tame Impala became an aural aesthetic – more synonymous with the gaudy hues of California than the sunburnt beaches of Western Australia.
The Slow Rush solidifies this nu-branded idea of Tame Impala – but it’s not all bad. Parker’s production is more transcendent than ever; he melds his proggy tendencies with immaculate pop sensibility. At least half of the cuts on the record feel more like suites than songs, taking you on a trip through Parker’s production synapses.
The 15-minute mid-section spanning ‘Breathe Deeper’ to ‘Lost in Yesterday’ is The Slow Rush’s closest shot at reinvention – resembling Supertramp from the year 3000, they feel like they were written for the bass guitar alone.
What keeps The Slow Rush from greatness is Parker’s often limp lyricism. He succeeds when he sets small goals in meaning: “Remember when we used to get on it four out of seven?” on ‘Lost in Yesterday’ is gloriously facile. But over the LP’s lengthy runtime, the bubblegum lyricism shreds the good faith. ‘Posthumous Forgiveness’ mixes love, death and remorse in a tribute to his father, but meanders in cliché compared to Parker’s punchier prior lyrics on the topic (Lonerism’s ‘Sun’s Coming Up’). It wouldn’t be crazy if Parker hired a ghostwriter at this point.