Drunk by Thundercat:
TL;DR Haiku Review:
“Stream of consciousness; Michael McDonald, Kendrick? full of surprises”
Make sure you have the right Jordans on:
First of all, we need to dispense with preconceived notions when an album features the great Kendrick Lamar along with Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald without a hint of irony.
Yes, that Michael McDonald croons like only he can on “Show you the Way” with Kenny Loggins like something you might remember from your mom’s minivan in the late 80’s or early 90’s.
This album is not really R&B, soul, funk, experimental or indie dance-pop, it is all of those things. I think it is important not to limit ourselves with facile comparisons just because Thundercat has worked with hip-hop artists and features unique beats (like “Uh Uh” for example). This album is not musically akin to artists like Kid Cudi or 88 Keys but more like if Andre 3000 recorded an indie album. Actually, a lot of tracks of this album (see “Bus in These Streets” or “A Fan’s Mail”) would not sound out of place on a Phoenix or Of Montreal album for that matter.
Almost forgot: “Walk on By” is a throwback styled slow jam that features Kendrick Lamar. And like almost everything he touches these days, it is terrific.
Bittersweet Memories Cloud My Faded Mind:
For me, there is only one drawback to this album. I like to imagine that a lot of these tracks started with Thundercat going stream-of-consciousness with a keyboard. That approach really works for most of the songs on this album, but on others, I get the feeling that the lyrical content is not always as strong as the music and even the lyrical delivery. I hate to knock creativity and I really do like this album, but with 23 tracks on one album, there are bound to be hits and misses. (looking at you Wiz Khalifa)
Download it? Stream it?
I’d say download it, drunk or otherwise. Sure you might hear a lot of it on Adult Swim (just a guess) but I think you can’t really go wrong with Thundercat.