Bassist extraordinaire Thundercat has officially released his new album! Titled Drunk, Thundercat’s new album is a 23-track offering that fuses elements of funk, soul, hip hop, electronica, and jazz. It’s a mind-bending new release that engages from the first tracks and never lets go.
The album features a number of collaborators, including Flying Lotus, Sounwave, Louis Cole, Zack Sekoff, Michael McDonald & Kenny Loggins, Mono/Poly, Taylor Graves, Wiz Khalifa, Pharrell Williams, and Kendrick Lamar. Lamar featured Thundercat on his recent album, To Pimp A Butterfly, helping to propel the bassist into the public eye. It’s nice to see the two continue to exchange musical ideas through collaborative efforts.
The album is ultimately steeped in the roots of jazz fusion, but to call something “jazz fusion” is to leave the door particularly open ended. Tracks like “Uh Uh” particularly show off Thundercat’s technical skill as a bassist, but others air on the side of an intentional weirdness – perhaps due to the numerous electronica producers that Thundercat tapped for the release. His oddball style is seen heavily on “A Fan’s Mail,” where Thundercat says, “it’s cool to be a cat,” and proceeds to meow repeatedly on the track. Despite the weirdness, however, Drunk never loses its groove, maintaining a toe-tapping, head-bobbing pace on every song.
Thundercat also sings lead on a majority of the tracks, giving Drunk an overall-soulful vibe with his high-register crooning. That vibe is only enhanced on the song “Show You the Way,” with Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins joining Thundercat for a one-of-a-kind contribution. That song is followed by “Walk On By,” which starts with a long soul introduction before introducing a verse from Kendrick Lamar. Lamar’s contribution certainly stands out in the soulful track, though its definitely a slower pace than much of Lamar’s own music. Other songs, including “Drink Dat” with Taylor Graves and Wiz Khalifa, also fall into that slowed down soul hip hop style.
All in all, Drunk is an expression of Thundercat’s flare for the unusual, marked by top notch production and execution. At times, the album seems to be pulling in all directions, but it’s anchored with the unmistakeable soul-drenched style that is Thundercat. Listen to the new album below and check it out for yourself!
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