Thundercat’s third studio album has descended slowly from space, marrying funk/ska fusion with chilled hip-hop… and it’s great.
The Guardian- 4/5 stars
The NME- 4/5 stars
The Young Folks- 8/10
If you fancy something a little different to listen to that will broaden your tastes and also leave you feeling like you’re floating in an upbeat-cosmic-fantasy, then look no further, ‘Drunk’ is for you.
Even if you’re new to the bassist/singer/songwriter, Thundercat- don’t worry, you won’t be leaving your comfort zone completely as Drunk boasts features from the likes Kendrick Lamar, Wiz Khalifa, Pharrel and Flying Lotus. Drunk isn’t too different from his previous releases but perhaps provides an update lyrical-wise, more suiting to the struggles of a 2017 millennial “Don't call me, don't text me, after 2am. Unless you plan on giving me some” (Friendzone, track 14). However, if you dropped a couple of his newer songs back into his debut album, it wouldn’t sound out of place. So, newbies, Drunk is a fine place to start your Thundercat journey.
Overall, the 23-track album provides a fluctuation from a gooey plodding pace to a quicker, bouncier, beat. It is perfect for allowing your mind to relax whilst performing other tasks (whether that’s driving, cooking, tidying etc.). However, warning, it does include the occasional song where you might stop what you’re doing and groovily gyrate (“Friendzone” and “Them Changes”).
It is rare we get a full-length album off a solo bassist so it’s important to note his crazy-mad skills. They are highly noticeable in the funk-ska homage “Uh Uh” as he brags bass riffs too fast to comprehend- never mind perform. Accompanied by an expeditious drum beat and minor vocal ‘oohs’ we can focus our attention on the hurried fingers of Thundercat. On the more relaxing side of the album, Wiz Khalifah’s cool voice supplies the head-nodding rap in “Drink Dat” - a song that perfectly complements that drive home from work on a Friday with the sun-setting feeling.
When it comes to relatable lyrics, Drunk, is an album for those unrequited loves. In “Lava Lamp” (track 6) Thundercat offers his listeners some advice “Sometimes you have to let go to free fall away” accompanied by the creamy, whipped bass riffs it is (nearly) enough ease an achy-heart. Less romantically but more playfully, “Friendzone” tells the tale of a woman rebuffing his attempts at courting. Arguably the best song on the album is “Walk on by” which features Grammy winning, Kendrick Lamar. The groove gets down to a gentle toe-tapping beat, whilst Thundercat softly sing “at the end of it all, no one wants to drink alone” before Kendrick comes in with a rhythmically orgasmic rap. An altogether perfectly put together song. Also, it’s kind of cool to listen to a song by two people who enjoy hanging out as well as making music.
Thundercat, Kendrick and friends:
Thundercat, Anna Wise, Kendrick Lamar, Bilal and Terrace Martin Sonnymoon