Review: “The Slow Rush” provides psychedelic insight into time


Seth Engle, Editor-in-Chief

As humans we are constantly faced with the challenge of managing time. In Tame Impala’s fourth studio album, “The Slow Rush,” Kevin Parker grasps the concept of time and breaks down the many different effects it has on a person’s life.

I, like many listeners, stayed up until the album’s release late Thursday night. I could’ve been doing something more productive: sleeping, working, reading. And while this example may not be as pressing as others, such as mending relationships or doing some out of your comfort zone, Parker wants to teach listeners that the choices we make with our time will ultimately decide our fate.

The title of the album, “The Slow Rush,” and the cover art are songs unto themselves. The title symbolizes the idea that time may seem slow in the moment, but a year will eventually pass and leave us wondering why the time moved so quickly. 

The cover shows a room filled with sand; however, with one window open and light seeping in, the sand is bound to disappear — much like an hourglass.

Human tendency is often to put things off, procrastination. We may find ourselves asking for “One More Hour” or “One More Year” (the titles of the first and last songs on the album) to put things off, but before we know it we’ll be begging for one more chance to make up for the time that we lost.

Between songs one and 12, Parker addresses issues contributing to time-wasting, such as nostalgia and dwelling on the future, and offers guidance on how to live a fulfilling life.

On “Instant Destiny,” Parker addresses that while it is important not to dwell on the past, what we’ve done already and what we have yet to do will ultimately impact our future. Instant destiny is something we all want to achieve, but realistically we have a much better chance of reaching our dreams by putting in work and doing what can’t be undone.

“Posthumous Forgiveness” and “Lost in Yesterday” both condemn nostalgia, which Parker calls an addictive drug. “Tomorrow’s Dust,” “On Track,” and “Is It True” focus on the importance of the future and the impact your choices make on it, while also exploring the beauty of hope and trying not to predict the future.

Musically, the album is just another example of Parker’s incredible producing ability, incorporating new sounds such as funk and acoustics into the mix of the typical psychedelic, techno rock Tame Impala fans are accustomed to. 

“Borderline” delivers an upbeat, bass heavy pop track, illustrating the will to take risks and live dangerously. “Breathe Deeper” offers a similar upbeat pop sound, highlighted by a beautiful, recurring piano lick, shining light on the worries of feeling lost in life.

From first being labeled by critics as nothing more than an indie rock artist after the release of his first studio album, “InnerSpeaker,” to experimenting with dance and techno on his second and third albums “Lonerism” and “Currents,” Parker now stands far apart from the majority of recording artists with the release of “The Slow Rush.”

After releasing what is arguably his most complete album to date, all that can be asked is, what comes next from Kevin Parker?