The Echo

Thundercat opens up with introspective new album

“Drunk” offers in depth look at the bassist’s psyche

Fair use from Brainfeeder

Fair use from Brainfeeder

Thundercat’s third studio album, “Drunk” provides a funky change of tone for the bassist’s musical style.

The record features a shift away from the previous themes that previous Thundercat albums focused on, such as confronting mortality. Rather, “Drunk” finds Thundercat exploring more immediately relevant themes such as the troubles of everyday life.

“Drunk” boasts the usual Thundercat sound that all fans love, a mix of funk, R&B and rap. The album is part of the recent trend in mainstream music of funk revival, most notably Kendrick Lamar’s “To Pimp a Butterfly” and Childish Gambino’s “Awaken, My Love!”

The album enlisted an impressive cast of collaborators including appearances from legends such as Michael Douglas, Kendrick Lamar and Pharrell Williams. Seamless production from Flying Lotus, Thundercat himself and others makes for a beautiful sounding record. Thundercat’s voice is mixed perfectly with the smooth sounds of his grooving instrumentals.

The tracklist opens up with the abstract “Rabbat Ho.” Thundercat sings falsetto lyrics over a lazy, careless synth melody in which he invites the audience to join him and “travel down a rabbit hole.”

On the overwhelming “Captain Stupdio,” Thundercat describes the intense pace of his daily life. The musician observes that he “feels weird” while the chorus repeatedly tells him, “Comb your beard, brush your teeth.”  

The smooth “Show You the Way” is one of the record’s strongest tracks. Joined by Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald, Thundercat brings listeners inside of his head and thought processes. Loggins and McDonald’s verses offer a refreshing break from the preceding parts of the album, which contain almost no vocal features.  

“Walk On By” is comprised of wavering synth chords over an old school drum machine produced beat and features a deeply thought provoking verse from rapper Kendrick Lamar.

Despite Thundercat’s deviation from his usual lyrical style, the album’s instrumentals lacks significant diversity. After hearing one track, the audience has practically listened to all of the album’s 23 songs.

“Drunk” is a fun, quirky and bizarre visit to the complex depths of Thundercat’s personality and mind.

“Drunk” by Thundercat: 3.75/5

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