The Quietus reviews Lame Impala
It took Kevin Parker five years of reclusive writing before The Slow Rush was ready for human consumption. His group Tame Impala started off at the dawn of the 2010s as a charming psych-revival curiosity, but second and third albums Lonerism and Currents saw the group slowly mutate into something far bigger; an escapist pop act capable of headlining festivals.
Notoriously, Parker is one of these musicians that spends literal years labouring over fine details to ensure everything is the best it can be. He rigorously considers every single drum sound, piano loop, and vocal texture, and pours unimaginable quantities of energy into the signature Tame Impala sound. Parker is clearly a talented producer, and has shown in the past that his musical graft often reaps satisfying melodies. It is this perfectionism that defines 2015’s smooth-but-insubstantial Currents, and new LP The Slow Rush is certainly cut from the same cloth.
So that begs the question; if Parker is such a perfectionist, how come all of his songs are fucking terrible?
Tame Impala frustrate throughout The Slow Rush. Whilst Parker’s talents as a producer certainly flicker throughout, his limitations as a songwriter prevent any songs on the record from really catching light at any point. The Slow Rush is background music, it’s supposed to bring good vibes but it dims every room that it is played in.