Thundercat’s ‘Drunk’ is A Blast From The Past and The Future
Posted on March 9, 2017
by Sean Delles
Looking for proof that time travelers walk among us in 2017? Look no further than Thundercat and his newest album Drunk. Be warned, however- pinning down this cosmic, 23-track collage to a specific year of origin, past or future, is near impossible.
For example, Drunk contains strikingly retro moments (such as on tracks “Show You the Way” and “Friend Zone”) where I swear what I’m hearing is ripped from an old vinyl dug out of a milk crate. Then there’s the complete lunacy and otherworldliness of tracks like “Captain Stupido” and The-Beach-Boys-on-downers-sounding “Inferno” that compels me to believe Thundercat could only possibly be from the future.
Perhaps also as unprecedented as his sound is Thundercat’s peculiar style of songwriting. Hovering at an average of two minutes a song, Drunk is a scattershot collection of thoughts, ramblings, and personal recollections. Feeling more like vignettes making up a novella than songs making up an album, Drunk is fresh with lyrical variety and form. Capable of playfully admitting, “I think I’m Kenshiro, I think that I’m Goku,” and, in almost the same breath, lamenting hopelessly to “Just make sure you have the right Jordans on/ Or be left behind to rot and die,” Thundercat proves there’s no topic he won’t touch. He has every intention of sharing with his audience the geeky, off-kilter levity (and dark, morbid gravity) of his inner world.
Featuring cameos from Kendrick Lamar, Flying Lotus, and Kenny Loggins (the songwriter behind “Footloose” and “Danger Zone”- those 80s hits we hate to love), Thundercat’s Drunk is a madcap spectacle of an album. If the very mention of an artist twisting together R&B, soul, free jazz, funk, hip-hop, and electronic influences into his own genre doesn’t pique your interest, remember this: Thundercat is probably also a time traveler. That, at the very least, should get you to check this album out.