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Tame Impala | The Slow Rush

Psychedelic popster Kevin Parker takes his sweet time on his fourth studio album.

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WHO ARE THEY? The psychedelic musical alter-ego of Australian singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, studio whiz and presumed control freak Kevin Parker, who penned, played and produced every note on this disc as usual, and recorded most of it in his home studio. I guess we should just be glad he didn’t take the cover picture too.

WHAT IS THIS? The 34-year-old multi-hyphenated multi-talent’s fourth full-length studio release and the long-awaited followup to 2015’s Currents, his most popular and acclaimed album to date.

WHAT DOES IT SOUND LIKE? A hippie hitting middle age. As you might guess from song titles like One More Year, Posthumous Forgiveness, Tomorrow’s Dust, Lost in Yesterday, It Might Be Time and One More Hour — not to mention the handle of the album itself — The Slow Rush finds Parker preoccupied with the passage of time and its attendant emotional states. Nostalgia and regret, the joy and freedom of living in the moment, the anticipation of love and commitment; they’re all here. And all voiced atop Parker’s colourfully trippy, sweetly melodic and smoothly flowing psychedelic pop and rock. At times it might all be a little too sweet and flowing; some of these dozen tracks lack the more dynamic sonic shifts of previous albums, leaving you with a disc of expertly crafted neo-disco and low-impact funk grooves that flow seamlessly and tastefully, but lack the youthful vitality, exuberance and audacity to stand out from the pack. Which makes it a pretty good musical metaphor for middle age, if you think about it the right way.

WHAT ARE THE MOST REVEALING LYRICS? “It might be time to face it / It ain’t as fun as it used to be, no / You’re goin’ under / You ain’t as young as you used to be / It might be time to face it / You ain’t as cool as you used to be, no.”

WHAT SHOULD IT BE TITLED? It’s About Time.

HOW SHOULD I LISTEN TO IT? By getting way too high and simultaneously pondering one of the world’s unanswerable cosmic questions: Just what is time, anyway?

IF THIS ALBUM WERE AN ACTUAL TIMEPIECE, WHAT WOULD IT BE? This perspective clock:

WHAT 10 WORDS SUM IT UP? Druggy, dreamy, warm, welcoming, bright, meandering, graceful, hypnotic, lush, joyful.

WHAT ARE THE BEST SONGS? The echo-drenched opener One More Year; the bouncily shuffling Lost in Yesterday; the clattery, synth-swooped It Might Be Time; the buzzy epic closer One More Hour.

WHAT WILL MY FRIENDS SAY? ‘It’s pretty good — but I can’t shake the feeling that I would enjoy it more if I could find the precisely perfect combination of drugs.’

HOW OFTEN WILL I LISTEN TO IT? Not as often as some of his older albums, but still frequently enough to feel like you’re not too decrepit yet.

SHOULD I BUY, STREAM OR STEAL IT? You can’t buy time or steal it — so all you can do is wade into the stream and go with the flow.