Thundercat: Drunk Review

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By Troy Vita
Music Journalist

Artist: Thundercat
Album: Drunk
Label: Brainfeeder
Release Date: February 24, 2017

Alongside being an accomplished studio musician, bassist, singer, Flying Lotus collaborator and one of the creative forces behind Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly, Thundercat creates eclectic music that combines funk, jazz fusion, soul and electronic sounds. Drunk finds Thundercat at his weirdest and most genius. This is his busiest album yet, with 23 tracks including features from Kendrick Lamar, Wiz Khalifa and Kenny Loggins and a slew of bizarre interludes.

Drunk is a humorous look into Thundercat’s life, where he sings about his cat (“A Fan’s Mail”), treatment of African Americans by police (“Jameel’s Space Ride”) and playing video games instead of chasing an unreceptive girl (“Friend Zone”) among other things that affect him. Musically, this album jumps between laid-back funk grooves and frantic jazz fusion. Thundercat’s bass playing is on impressive display when he takes a break from singing to deliver his solos.

If you’re looking for crazy bass playing, you should check out the track “Uh Uh” where Thundercat plays a nonstop fury of notes over featuring artist Zack Sekoff’s instrumental track. A number of these songs are just fun jams; “Bus in These Streets”, “Tokyo” and “Friend Zone” are the best examples of this. They feature smooth bass lines, lots of accompanying instruments and silly lyrics. On the other end of this Album’s sonic spectrum are the slow groovy songs like “Where I’m Going”, “Show You the Way” (with help from Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald) and “Walk On By” (with past collaborator Kendrick Lamar)

Drunk is all over the place and silly in the most endearing way possible. He tows the line between musical genius and that weird-but-funny guy in your friend group. With 23 tracks that average about 2 minutes in length, and wildly changing music and lyrical topics, this album will keep anyone interested — jazz/funk fan or not.

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