Is Kevin Parker, AKA Tame Impala, stuck in the past or moving on? On The Slow Rush, the answer is both. It’s a dazzling, dizzying voyage of retrofuturism, giddy with optimism, yet troubled by gnawing regret.
Some things have certainly been abandoned — barely an echo of his early psych-rock remains. Instead, the Aussie forges deep, technicolour grooves, powered by hip-hop, funk and disco, with flickers of acid house and tropicália. The layered synths are often subtle, sometimes fierce.
Opening track One More Year is a heady swirl of choppy psychedelia, dark disco, piano house and bongos. Initially it’s bewildering, but with patience, it becomes sublime.
That musical conviction stays strong throughout. Lyrically, though, he’s conflicted. On Instant Destiny, he revels in getting a tattoo of his lover’s name, but on Is It True, he falters: “I tell her I’m in love with her/But how can I know I’ll always be?”
Posthumous Forgiveness deals with a late, estranged father. Parker chastises his selfishness, and then — after a thrashing catharsis of metallic synths — tenderly accepts those failings: “Wanna play you all my songs/Hear your voice sing along.”
Parker is clearly still working it all out, but with this release, he has taken a superbly assured forward step.
Source: Evening Standard UK