If you move in certain areas of music (the LA Brainfeeder / cosmic jazz axis and surrounds), you will appreciate Thundercat as a god-like figure. The man plays electric bass like nobody’s business, but he is also a mighty songwriter, and Drunk is his own record. It features an amazing cast of collaborators (Kendrick Lamar! Kamasi Washington!), and is presented on one CD or four 10” vinyl records.
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It's "be nice" day today at the towers, people are emptying bins and dishwashers for each other and even Li'l Biz popped in to join in the fun. Maybe it's all because we were listening to this silky smooth release from Thundercat who Li'l Biz insists is still only 23 (he's actually 32 - fact checking guy). Those chops! Sure to bring good vibes to a room.
There's some particularly playful moments on this Thundercat's third somretimes for good, sometimes for bad. 'Captain Stupido' is ridiculous. Kind of a lo-fi jazz ditty with humorous lyrics about brushing your teeth and your beard until finally Thundercat falls asleep and realises he's left his wallet at the club. It gets dafter....'Uh uh' is a preposterous jazz odyssey somewhere between Weather Report, Jaco Pastorius and Manhattan Transfer. This new playfulness neutralises the often chin noodling world of jazz funk. Thundercat's sky high falsetto laments technology on 'Bus in these Streets' ("where would we be if we couldn't tweet our thoughts"). At one point he starts miaowing. That's not going to get annoying after a few listens....and indeed it does.
Though it has it's fair share of jokey passages the music is often unrelentingly gorgeous - an often near perfect coagulation of smooth yacht rock sounds and Brainfeeder style noodle jazz chops. And there's a fair smattering of star guests too - those two pronged kings of yacht rock Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald turn up on lead track 'Show You the Way' (Loggins silklily smooth, McDonald uncharacteristically gruff), Kendrick Lamar pipes up on lovely ballad 'Walk On By' (not that one) and Pharrell clocks in on the typically lop sided upward climbing chords of 'The Turn Down'. Got some seriously good friends this lad.
Though Thundercat still hasn't quite come of age (he's edging closer to a masterpiece but his music is often too scattershot and distracted to quite hit a home run), 'Drunk' is another fairly stunning showcase for his myriad talents. On repeated listens it can be annoying at times but this should still help soundtrack your summer.
9/10 Paulo no Frowno Customer review, 9th March 2017
It's summer, you're on a rooftop terrace, you're wearing shorts and brogues with no socks, you're drinking an ice cold corona, some beautiful people are having a conversation about books, someone hands you a wrap, This album is playing.....................
What's not to like here? Funky bass, great chops, silky smooth jazz funk vocals, Kenny Logins, Michael McDonald, Kendrick Lamar............All Good.
The 4 x 10" vinyl box set is a thing of absolute beauty and compliments this album perfectly.
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- Drunk by Thundercat
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