Review: A week spent with Thundercat’s Drunk is truly intoxicating
Written by Reid Smith on March 4, 2017
Photo courtesy of MTV.com
Release: Feb. 24, 2017
Thundercat’s 23-track LP Drunk, is his absolute best to date that will have listeners buzzed with audible ecstasy.
The bassist-virtuoso percolates his grooviest and funkadelic sound to boot while also tackling immensely personal assessments of life itself. He invites listeners to laugh-to-keep-from-crying while inviting them to meditate on his personal feelings. He brings along with him a prolific and star studded list of features such as Flying Lotus, Wiz Khalifa and Kendrick Lamar for added musical flavors. It’s the culmination of an ideal album.
Each track is greeted with his bellowing bass guitar as it dances across the listener’s ear drums. It’s the familiar blend of neo-funk, soul and jazz that’s put him on the map. If there were a modern day telecasting of Soul Train, one could find him headlining the show as the live performance. He adequately sets the mood with the right chords for each theme he explores. The ambient and space-bound production is out of this world, giving this album a universally expansive exploration of the creative mind.
The significance of the instrumentals is crucial. He achieves the perfect sound to visualize the lyrics like the intricacies of a Bob Ross painting. He delves into social commentaries, life and death, the stigmas of technology, romance, drug/alcohol fueled partying and an interesting trip to Tokyo, Japan.
Lyrically speaking, it’s an album with a sharp voice. Listeners are treated to an intelligent conversation with Thundercat as the writing is very direct. Not only that, each track is ultimately relatable. It’s as if Thundercat opened the universe to take a gander through his whimsical diary.
Take Thundcat’s hysterical second introductory track, “Captain Stupido.” He explores his daily routine from personal hygiene, masturbation and partying. It comes off as crude, but it’s honest and entertaining.
It then transitions into an interlude, “Uh Uh,” where he shreds furiously lighting fire to the bass guitar causing a cataclysm of uncontrollable grooving and spaztic gyrations.
He serenades in a suede demeanor on the steamy track, “Show You The Way.” He recruits the kings of yacht-rock Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald in attempts to swoon his unidentified mistress. In an effective display of showmanship, Thundercat introduces these legends before each of their verses. It’s an ace-in-the-hole first date track to play after dinner in the car. Intensively, it drives home those juicy feels.
Comparatively to his previous work, Drunk is a lighthearted endeavor. While Thundercat still tackles the more brooding themes he’s known for, he keeps it fun as he wants listeners to laugh in the face of uncertainty with him. He breaks down barriers of elitism that can be perceived of celebrities by proving he’s a human being like the rest of us. He puts his infatuation with nerd-ism like videogames and anime on full display. Thundercat is truly himself on this album and it’s clear he had blast recording it.
So go home tonight, light the fireplace (if able) or some candles, turn down and have a colorful and entertaining conversation with one of neo-soul’s deity’s.