Hello again, Ladies and Gentlemen!

My name is Ash, and today we have another portion of high-quality alternative music, which is so rarely being provided to us nowadays that you no longer notice it the first time. This is because of my first listening to the album, in which I did not hear anything significant and different in this album compared to the latest releases of Low Roar or Cigarettes After Sex (my ears were so “washed up” then, indeed). But, it was with each subsequent listening that the level of pleasure only increased, despite one of the main drawbacks of the album – it relaxes to such an extent that you can really lose your focus regarding what you’re listening to and just fall into a relaxing trance. On the other hand, if this was what the album tried to achieve, then it’s even for the better.

Tame Impala – Australian alt-art-pop-psyco-rock project, music of which I completely and fully listened to just now, and, as you might already know, was not disappointed at all. The Slow Rush album is the 4th in the group’s career and the 1st (as it turned out according to the feedback of the listeners), which provides a completely new sound, different from the usual psyco-rock style. As for the cover art and overall visual look of the album, I don’t remember liking it as much in other albums for a long time, because the cover design completely turns the original image of an abandoned house in Namibia from depressed-lonely symbol into the one with brightly calm-meditative mood. In general, this combination of red and yellow is chosen in such a way that this colorful “heat” does not hurt the eyes, but relaxes instead. Plus, I still think that it makes good reference to the message and general symbolism of the album.

The album is largely tied to the symbolism of time. The text often indicates how it is wrong and inefficient to live in nostalgia, live on past fears and anxieties, how every current decision is reflected in the future, etc. Basically that’s why the cover art makes me to associate it with an imaginary hourglass that was broken “behind the scenes” somewhere, sand scattered all over the place, and time with it. Not a bad idea, right?

In fact, it’s not only my personal conjectures, but also the beginning + ending of the album directly point to this even with their names “One More Year” and “One More Hour”, respectively, where the hero of the album begins his new year with a completely different approach to life and his place in it, and in the finale – he recalls the results of his musical and lyrical journey and wants this year not to end. In general, all the lyrical content in its form is as simple as possible because of its “diary-like” description of each of its emotional impressions in the format “I do, I say, I smth. with someone” but in conjunction with the aforementioned premise of the album, such a text acquires a certain mystery and depth, which sometimes even breaks through emotionality and causes a melancholic feeling, as in the song “On Track”, which describes the path of an optimist who, despite any problems and obstacles, still believes in his own personal miracle, and that it is about to be fulfilled very soon . In other words, I was pleased with the text when I was finally able to hear it. But it turned out to be not so easy for the first time.

Repeating myself, I’ll say that I did not immediately recognized all the aforementioned stuff in the album. At the first audition, I made a major mistake – I turned on the album in the background during my work, and did not notice anything remarkable in it at all. It even seemed at some moments that this album was instrumental and somehow ambient, because I didn’t recognize even vocals up to the track Breathe Deeper, which was the first one attracting my attention. Its bass base and funky groove reminded me very much of one of my favorite tracks by Simply Red – Sunrise and caused an equivalent emotional and atmospheric impression, similar to a trip by car on the highway in the heat. The rhythm and vocal performance especially made me shake my head to the beat, and then fully sing along to the track. That is, after that song, I decided to take the album much more seriously, and after listening to the second half of the album on the background (oh well), I decided to turn it on again the next time.

And then, when listened to the album carefully and without being distracted by anything, you begin to get absolutely everything that was not heard from the beginning. Firstly, it gives probably one of the best “blurry” vocals in recent years, while not giving the usual (for me at least) sad-melancholy mood, instead providing much more energetic and positive vibe even in the most thoughtful and lyrically sad tracks. Secondly, you get a variety of instrumental foundations: from instrumental pop-rock and funk to full-length synth-pop with just a couple of phrases and words. Despite the relatively large length of the tracks, I can’t quite call them boring and bland, although (again) I personally would cut the timing of a good half of the work on the album in order to maintain their concentration on that sound. And yes, every song (well, with the exception of some elements) is focused purely on vocals, because it is the vocals creating the right mood and dynamics, leading all other instruments.

Therefore, it turns out for me that with all that traditional pop-rock set of structures, techniques and templates, but with lyrical content and original vocals, the album is not only of dance-entertaining value with a wide genre range from funk to house, but also largely informative. It’s not so often that one can hear life-affirming messages in music that would not be boring or surface-level. The album is 4.5 out of 5 for me, because duration and general relaxed feel often lulled too much. In everything else – it’s one of the strongest albums of February for me, definitely.

(Thanks for reading till the end! Leave a comment about your opinion and about what should I talk about next. Or tell me what you thought on Twitter.
Plus, I stream on Twitch on Fridays, so you can ask me anything live if you catch me there. And now, that’s it for today, thank you once again and I’ll see you in the next one! Goodbye!)

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