The Slow Rush

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The Slow Rush is the fourth studio album by Australian musical project Tame Impala, released on 14 February 2020. The Slow Rush_sentence_0

It follows the 2015 album Currents and the 2019 singles "Patience" and "Borderline", with the latter serving as the first single from the album. The Slow Rush_sentence_1

Rooted in psychedelic disco music, the album was positively received by critics and reached the top 10 on many record charts around the world, debuting atop the charts in three countries and as well as on the US Alternative and Rock charts. The Slow Rush_sentence_2

At the ARIA Music Awards of 2020, the album won five categories, ARIA Award for Album of the Year, Best Group, Best Rock Album, Engineer of the Year and Producer of the Year (the latter two for work by Parker). The Slow Rush_sentence_3

The album also received a nomination for Best Alternative Music Album at the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards, whilst "Lost In Yesterday" was nominated for Best Rock Song. The Slow Rush_sentence_4

Background The Slow Rush_section_0

Kevin Parker said that his biggest takeaway from making both the previous Tame Impala album, 2015's Currents, and The Slow Rush was to trust his gut instincts. The Slow Rush_sentence_5

"I don't want to labor over music. The Slow Rush_sentence_6

More and more, that's becoming a quality of music that I'm allergic to." The Slow Rush_sentence_7

Inspiration The Slow Rush_section_1

In an interview with Billboard, Parker said he was inspired by the career trajectory of "super-producer" Max Martin and that he wants to gradually break into the world of pop music. The Slow Rush_sentence_8

In an interview with Uproxx, it was also revealed that one goal for The Slow Rush was to "try and use things from totally different worlds in the way that a hip hop producer would. The Slow Rush_sentence_9

To be almost collage-y." The Slow Rush_sentence_10

Development The Slow Rush_section_2

While writing songs for the album, Parker had to flee a Malibu Airbnb in 2018, reportedly clutching only his laptop, a hard drive and his 1960s vintage Höfner bass as forest fires consumed the neighbourhood. The Slow Rush_sentence_11

After releasing the singles "Patience" and "Borderline"—the former only appearing on the bonus track edition, the latter included on the tracklist in remixed form—in March and April 2019, the album's release was delayed. The Slow Rush_sentence_12

These two songs were first performed live on Saturday Night Live on 28 March 2019 and received commercial praise. The Slow Rush_sentence_13

In July 2019, Parker said: "Part of the thing about me starting an album is that I have to feel kind of worthless again to want to make music". The Slow Rush_sentence_14

In October 2019, a video appeared on the band's website, and on 25 October, the video was extended to announce the title of the album and release year. The Slow Rush_sentence_15

The video features Parker in the recording studio as well as snippets of unreleased music, which would later be included on the album as segments of the track "Tomorrow's Dust". The Slow Rush_sentence_16

"Borderline" was altered/remastered following a November 2019 listening party. The Slow Rush_sentence_17

On 18 December 2019, Parker revealed in an interview with Annie Mac on BBC Radio 1's Future Sounds show that this new version of "Borderline" would appear on The Slow Rush instead, jokingly referring to the single release as the "old 'Borderline'" upon the release of the album. The Slow Rush_sentence_18

Composition The Slow Rush_section_3

NME writes: "This is a 57-minute flex of every musical muscle in Parker’s body. The Slow Rush_sentence_19

Crunchy guitars are largely absent, but we're left with something far more intriguing – a pop record bearing masterful electronic strokes. The Slow Rush_sentence_20

If Currents soundtracked the glorious come-up, The Slow Rush is the wobbly morning after, with everything and everyone under question." The Slow Rush_sentence_21

The Slow Rush was called "an extraordinarily detailed opus" that reaches into "specific corners of the past six decades": Philly soul, early prog, acid house, adult contemporary-R&B, and even Late Registration. The Slow Rush_sentence_22

Noted as more upbeat than Tame Impala's previous records, the album has touches of '90s English techno and soft rock. The Slow Rush_sentence_23

NPR noted: "Listen closely and you can pick up traces of Rick James, Paul McCartney and Wings, Ravel, Childish Gambino, Pink Floyd, Human League, Prince and on and on. The Slow Rush_sentence_24

[...] The post-psychedelic swirl of The Slow Rush registers as an organic blend, with the songs never feeling cluttered or too tightly scripted." The Slow Rush_sentence_25

Parallels with James Blake's Assume Form (2019) were observed as well. The Slow Rush_sentence_26

Songs The Slow Rush_section_4

The tone of the album is established on the "moody" space pop opening track "One More Year", called "Parker's most intimate song to date", featuring a steady beat, glitchy loops, a robotic chorus, and a tremolo effect. The Slow Rush_sentence_27

"Instant Destiny" begins with a falsetto-led melody and features xylophones, while "Borderline" has "mournful keyboards" and a disco groove. The Slow Rush_sentence_28

The funky/riffy and Jimmy Page-like "Breathe Deeper" "flits" between ravey pianos and '80s Fleetwood Mac – "with a touch of Daft Punk's 'Da Funk' thrown in the song's final 90 seconds". The Slow Rush_sentence_29

It is a '70s/'90s R&B crossover with an "ascendant" piano line. The Slow Rush_sentence_30

"Tomorrow's Dust" is an early-'70s "soul-cruiser". The Slow Rush_sentence_31

A "bittersweet keyboard" in the semi-ballad "On Track" was said to resemble Daryl Hall. The Slow Rush_sentence_32

The "festival-ready" "Lost in Yesterday" has a beachy vibe, dub effects, and an '80s bassline. The Slow Rush_sentence_33

"Is It True" has a "boogie" sound. The Slow Rush_sentence_34

The "Ironside"-esque siren that lends panic in "It Might Be Time" recalls Quincy Jones. The Slow Rush_sentence_35

The two-minute "Glimmer" is house-y and mostly an instrumental. The Slow Rush_sentence_36

"One More Hour" is bare and "drowning in echo", full of fluttering strings and an "apocalyptic, heavily phased guitar, then another gnarly riff, crashing drums, and Moog synths firing in all directions." The Slow Rush_sentence_37

Lyrics The Slow Rush_section_5

The overarching theme of The Slow Rush was said to be "the passage of time". The Slow Rush_sentence_38

Many of the tunes on The Slow Rush have a "multi-level dimensionality": the melodies "dwell in a sweet, idyllic late-afternoon mood" that can veil the "internal turbulence, doubt and emotional complexity lurking in the words". The Slow Rush_sentence_39

On "One More Year", Parker ponders about his connection to the places outside his studio, and outside his own head: "Do you remember we were standing here a year ago / Our minds were racing and time went slow / If there was trouble in the world we didn't know / If we ever cared we didn't show". The Slow Rush_sentence_40

"Instant Destiny" is "a swirling start-stop of a victory lap where he threatens to do something crazy, like buy a house in Miami." The Slow Rush_sentence_41

The second half of single "Posthumous Forgiveness", a "reckoning" with Parker's deceased father, is a "cathartic rumination" on their tricky relationship and Parker's superstardom: "Wanna tell you 'bout the time / I was in Abbey Road / Or the time that I had / Mick Jagger on the phone". The Slow Rush_sentence_42

Parker reflects on the power of nostalgia ("Lost in Yesterday") and the fear of losing his mojo ("It Might Be Time"), while the spindly "Tomorrow's Dust" is a "slap round the face" in the favour of progress: "There's no use tryin' to relate to that old song". The Slow Rush_sentence_43

Closer "One More Hour" concludes Parker's journey as an "introvert searching for inner peace": "As long as I can, as long as I can spend some time alone." The Slow Rush_sentence_44

He later employs a taunting, provocative tone in the song "heard on playgrounds everywhere": "Whatever I've done, I did it for love. The Slow Rush_sentence_45

I did it for fun. The Slow Rush_sentence_46

I did it for fame." The Slow Rush_sentence_47

Critical reception The Slow Rush_section_6

The Slow Rush_table_general_0

Professional ratingsThe Slow Rush_table_caption_0
Aggregate scoresThe Slow Rush_header_cell_0_0_0
SourceThe Slow Rush_header_cell_0_1_0 RatingThe Slow Rush_header_cell_0_1_1
AnyDecentMusic?The Slow Rush_cell_0_2_0 7.6/10The Slow Rush_cell_0_2_1
MetacriticThe Slow Rush_cell_0_3_0 79/100The Slow Rush_cell_0_3_1
Review scoresThe Slow Rush_header_cell_0_4_0
SourceThe Slow Rush_header_cell_0_5_0 RatingThe Slow Rush_header_cell_0_5_1
AllMusicThe Slow Rush_cell_0_6_0 The Slow Rush_cell_0_6_1
The A.V. ClubThe Slow Rush_cell_0_7_0 C+The Slow Rush_cell_0_7_1
The Daily TelegraphThe Slow Rush_cell_0_8_0 The Slow Rush_cell_0_8_1
Exclaim!The Slow Rush_cell_0_9_0 6/10The Slow Rush_cell_0_9_1
The GuardianThe Slow Rush_cell_0_10_0 The Slow Rush_cell_0_10_1
The IndependentThe Slow Rush_cell_0_11_0 The Slow Rush_cell_0_11_1
NMEThe Slow Rush_cell_0_12_0 The Slow Rush_cell_0_12_1
PitchforkThe Slow Rush_cell_0_13_0 8.0/10The Slow Rush_cell_0_13_1
QThe Slow Rush_cell_0_14_0 The Slow Rush_cell_0_14_1
Rolling StoneThe Slow Rush_cell_0_15_0 The Slow Rush_cell_0_15_1

The Slow Rush was met with positive reviews from listeners and music critics. The Slow Rush_sentence_48

At Metacritic, which assigns a normalised rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream publications, the album received an average score of 79, based on 30 reviews. The Slow Rush_sentence_49

Aggregator AnyDecentMusic? The Slow Rush_sentence_50

gave it 7.6 out of 10, based on their assessment of the critical consensus. The Slow Rush_sentence_51

Jillian Mapes of Pitchfork wrote that "The Slow Rush is an extraordinarily detailed opus whose influences reach into specific corners of the past six decades." The Slow Rush_sentence_52

NPR writer Tom Moon added: "While everybody else in the catchy-song business seems to be running in circles, [Parker's] out there unapologetically having fun, creating new delivery systems for his own exotic brand of sonic euphoria." The Slow Rush_sentence_53

Zack of Ruskin from Variety was also positive: "The Slow Rush is arguably Parker's most fully realized and satisfying effort to date. The Slow Rush_sentence_54

While lyrically, the album seems a bit escapist, Parker likes to operate somewhere in the middle, dabbling in the personal but often only as a piece of a larger meditation." The Slow Rush_sentence_55

Ruskin later finished with, "The Slow Rush proves that Parker has earned all the time he needs." The Slow Rush_sentence_56

Kitty Empire of The Guardian said, "It's safe to say The Slow Rush will only expand Tame Impala's audience." The Slow Rush_sentence_57

In a mixed review from The A.V. The Slow Rush_sentence_58 Club, Max Freedman gave the album a C+ and wrote that it "isn't quite as interesting as its predecessors in terms of songwriting and production, and this gap makes Parker's lyrical weaknesses more challenging to ignore". The Slow Rush_sentence_59

Accolades The Slow Rush_section_7

The Slow Rush_table_general_1

Accolades for The Slow RushThe Slow Rush_table_caption_1
PublicationThe Slow Rush_header_cell_1_0_0 AccoladeThe Slow Rush_header_cell_1_0_1 RankThe Slow Rush_header_cell_1_0_2 Ref.The Slow Rush_header_cell_1_0_3
BillboardThe Slow Rush_header_cell_1_1_0 Billboard's 50 Best Albums of 2020 – Mid-YearThe Slow Rush_cell_1_1_1 N/AThe Slow Rush_cell_1_1_2 The Slow Rush_cell_1_1_3
ComplexThe Slow Rush_header_cell_1_2_0 Complex's 50 Best Albums of 2020 – Mid-YearThe Slow Rush_cell_1_2_1 2The Slow Rush_cell_1_2_2 The Slow Rush_cell_1_2_3
NPRThe Slow Rush_header_cell_1_3_0 The 50 Best Albums of 2020The Slow Rush_cell_1_3_1 24The Slow Rush_cell_1_3_2 The Slow Rush_cell_1_3_3
StereogumThe Slow Rush_header_cell_1_4_0 Stereogum's 50 Best Albums of 2020 – Mid-YearThe Slow Rush_cell_1_4_1 34The Slow Rush_cell_1_4_2 The Slow Rush_cell_1_4_3
VarietyThe Slow Rush_header_cell_1_5_0 Variety's Best Albums of 2020 – Mid-YearThe Slow Rush_cell_1_5_1 N/AThe Slow Rush_cell_1_5_2 The Slow Rush_cell_1_5_3

Commercial performance The Slow Rush_section_8

On the US Billboard 200, The Slow Rush debuted at number three, becoming Tame Impala's highest-charting album in the country to date, passing the number four peak of previous release Currents. The Slow Rush_sentence_60

After the release of the album, all 12 tracks charted on the US Rock charts with peak numbers ranging from 2 to 17. The Slow Rush_sentence_61

With other record charts, the album debuted in the top 10 in many countries, reaching number one in Australia, Portugal, and Scotland. The Slow Rush_sentence_62

Track listing The Slow Rush_section_9

All tracks are written by Kevin Parker. The Slow Rush_sentence_63

Personnel The Slow Rush_section_10

Tame Impala The Slow Rush_sentence_64

The Slow Rush_unordered_list_0

  • Kevin Parker – songwriting, performance, production, mixing, art conceptThe Slow Rush_item_0_0

Technical The Slow Rush_sentence_65

The Slow Rush_unordered_list_1

  • Greg Calbi – masteringThe Slow Rush_item_1_1
  • Steve Fallone – masteringThe Slow Rush_item_1_2
  • Glen Goetze – co-executive productionThe Slow Rush_item_1_3

Artwork The Slow Rush_sentence_66

The Slow Rush_unordered_list_2

  • Neil Krug – photography, design, art conceptThe Slow Rush_item_2_4

Charts The Slow Rush_section_11

The Slow Rush_table_general_2

Sales chart performance for The Slow RushThe Slow Rush_table_caption_2
Chart (2020)The Slow Rush_header_cell_2_0_0 Peak

positionThe Slow Rush_header_cell_2_0_1

Australian Albums (ARIA)The Slow Rush_header_cell_2_1_0 1The Slow Rush_cell_2_1_1
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)The Slow Rush_header_cell_2_2_0 9The Slow Rush_cell_2_2_1
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)The Slow Rush_header_cell_2_3_0 2The Slow Rush_cell_2_3_1
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)The Slow Rush_header_cell_2_4_0 6The Slow Rush_cell_2_4_1
Canadian Albums (Billboard)The Slow Rush_header_cell_2_5_0 3The Slow Rush_cell_2_5_1
Danish Albums (Hitlisten)The Slow Rush_header_cell_2_6_0 7The Slow Rush_cell_2_6_1
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)The Slow Rush_header_cell_2_7_0 2The Slow Rush_cell_2_7_1
Estonian Albums (Eesti Tipp-40)The Slow Rush_header_cell_2_8_0 3The Slow Rush_cell_2_8_1
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)The Slow Rush_header_cell_2_9_0 12The Slow Rush_cell_2_9_1
French Albums (SNEP)The Slow Rush_header_cell_2_10_0 11The Slow Rush_cell_2_10_1
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)The Slow Rush_header_cell_2_11_0 7The Slow Rush_cell_2_11_1
Irish Albums (OCC)The Slow Rush_header_cell_2_12_0 3The Slow Rush_cell_2_12_1
Italian Albums (FIMI)The Slow Rush_header_cell_2_13_0 20The Slow Rush_cell_2_13_1
Japanese Albums (Oricon)The Slow Rush_header_cell_2_14_0 62The Slow Rush_cell_2_14_1
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)The Slow Rush_header_cell_2_15_0 3The Slow Rush_cell_2_15_1
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)The Slow Rush_header_cell_2_16_0 5The Slow Rush_cell_2_16_1
Polish Albums (ZPAV)The Slow Rush_header_cell_2_17_0 37The Slow Rush_cell_2_17_1
Portuguese Albums (AFP)The Slow Rush_header_cell_2_18_0 1The Slow Rush_cell_2_18_1
Scottish Albums (OCC)The Slow Rush_header_cell_2_19_0 1The Slow Rush_cell_2_19_1
Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE)The Slow Rush_header_cell_2_20_0 6The Slow Rush_cell_2_20_1
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)The Slow Rush_header_cell_2_21_0 8The Slow Rush_cell_2_21_1
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)The Slow Rush_header_cell_2_22_0 3The Slow Rush_cell_2_22_1
UK Albums (OCC)The Slow Rush_header_cell_2_23_0 3The Slow Rush_cell_2_23_1
US Billboard 200The Slow Rush_header_cell_2_24_0 3The Slow Rush_cell_2_24_1
US Top Alternative Albums (Billboard)The Slow Rush_header_cell_2_25_0 1The Slow Rush_cell_2_25_1
US Top Rock Albums (Billboard)The Slow Rush_header_cell_2_26_0 1The Slow Rush_cell_2_26_1

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: Slow Rush.