Thundercat presents a intoxicating ride in Drunk [Review]

Thundercat presents a intoxicating ride in Drunk [Review]

After working on many other artists’ songs, California’s Thundercat, aka Stephen Bruner, presents his third solo album, Drunk.

The 23-song record begins with retro-sounding keyboards, scatty lo-fi drumming and the funny lyrics of Captain Stupido (“I feel weird, brush your beard, clean your teeth, still feel weird”), then leads into the acid-funk jazz of Uh Uh. Sparkly synths on Bus In The Streets pair nicely with a 70s funk beat, and the vinyl crackle of A Fan’s Mail adds a retro vibe.

Lava Lamp is far more chill-beat, channelling the soulful pomp of Marvin Gaye on its big chorus. Jethro leans more towards modern R’n’B, but the harmonised “oohs” keep it grounded in soul and funk.

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Guests include Kendrick Lamar on Walk On By, Wiz Khalifa on Drink Dat and Pharrell Williams on The Turn Down, providing a break from Thundercat’s vocal harmonies. Blackkk heads into almost latin prog, Tokyo could have come straight from an arcade game, and Friend Zone has all the bombast of a Prince song with its squelchy bass.

With its stream-of-consciousness lyrics, Drunk plays like an blow-by-blow account of a night out, that merges into a downbeat jazz-fusion haze. But the jokes start to wear thin towards the end, making this mocktail a little hard to swallow.

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This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
An intoxicatingly wild ride


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