ALBUM REVIEW: Thundercat's Intoxicating Album 'Drunk'
    • THURSDAY, MARCH 02, 2017

    • Posted by: Mandi Dudek

    RATING: 4/5

    In case you've been hiding under a rock for the past week, you need bassist/songwriter Thundercat's third studio album, Drunk, in your life. It's a record that boasts 23 songs and it's not something that you can rush into. I've spent every night with the album since it was released last Friday and it's undeniably Thundercat's best work yet.

    Thundercat, aka LA-native Stephen Bruner, was never meant to remain in the background because the music the he makes is a bit surreal. There isn't one category that the 32-year-old musician can be placed in and the albums he creates are unique in their own way. Following the death of a few close friends, Thundercat released two albums, 2013's Apocalypse and 2015's Beyond / Where The Giants Roam. The two albums have an airy jazz feeling to them as Thundercat sings about coming to terms with death and racial violence. But Drunk is different. Drunk shows us that Thundercat's spirits are a little lighter as he brings a quirky, dark sense of humor to discussing heartbreak and alcohol dependency.

    Drunk has a little bit of everything. 70s funk, jazz, pop, electronica, R&B, and hip-hop all flirt with each other throughout every track. Thundercat uses a unique recipe of peculiar rhythms and beats and pairs them with ridiculously absurd lyrics. The album also has an impressive list of features including Flying Lotus, Pharrell, Kendrick Lamar, Wiz Khalifa, Kenny Loggins, Michael McDonald and more.

    The opening track, "Rabbit Ho," has an eerie feel to it as Thundercat sings about getting drunk and going down a rabbit hole. The jazz-infused "Uh Uh" starts out as a slow ballad, but about 25 seconds in, it turns into a mind-blowing array of fast paced beats and sounds. "Bus In The Streets" brings a little Motown and psychedelic vibes to the album and "A Fan's Mail (Tron Song Suite II)" is funky and features silly cat noises. "Tokyo" and "Jameels Space Ride" are both futuristic, upbeat tracks that have an electric 80s sound. The chilled-out track "Walk On By" is a huge highlight of the album. Thundercat displays his falsetto and Kendrick Lamar delivers an effortlessly smooth and powerful verse about halfway through the song.

    Drunk is an acquired taste and might take a few listens through to really get into jammin' to it. But, the oddities are what makes it so good. It's an album to listen to from start to finish as each song tells a story that leads to the next, and it shows off his musicianship and innovation more than any of his past projects. It takes an extremely gifted musician to create a record that is both familiar and groundbreaking. Drunk is mind-bending, powerful and beautifully peculiar.

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