Stephen Bruner a.k.a Thundercat is one of the hottest producers in the field of R&B with collaborations with notable artists such as Erykah Badu and Kendrick Lamar. However while Thundercat works behind the scene for many predominant names, his personal repertoire of albums has recently grown by one. “Drunk” is Cat’s 4th studio album and likely his biggest commercial hit yet with strong features from Kenny Loggins, Michael McDonald, Kendrick Lamar, and Wiz Khalifa.
Thundercat’s musical style becomes apparent from early in the album; as he layers smooth, drawn out bass lines with low tempo, hip-hop beats. However his skill as a bassist is proven in the variation of sounds from extremely groovy funk tunes to laid back bedroom vibes. One will also notice quite suddenly his lack of seriousness. In the second song of the album, “Captain Stupido” Thundercat playfully jaunts about his drunken routine, “I feel weird, comb your beard, brush your teeth, I feel weird, beat your meat, go to sleep, I think I left my wallet at the club.” In a later track, “Tokyo” Thundercat uses noticeably goofy vocals to discuss his obsession with Japanese culture; everything from anime to seafood. Songs like these give a very parodical While the tracklist runs at 23 songs, it only runs at about an hour with many songs only lasting for one to two minutes a piece.
Thundercat breaks away from the traditional album composition of a shorter tracklist with longer songs for a more experimental approach of sonic variation using similar production styles on multiple songs. Rather than creating a single consistent vibe throughout the album Thundercat develops songs that jump from feeling to feeling where one track might come off as goofy and playful, the next will feel more dark and moody. What I think is most interesting is the literal intoxication of his album’s layout; upon listening one would think about their own night of drinking and the thoughts and emotions that progress through that night.
Drunk is a very appropriate name for this conceptual record. Upon first listen I was a bit thrown off by the helter skelter order of tracks, but as the album develops, Thundercat’s concept became more clear and I was able to enjoy his pristine production and smooth sounds. Great for a laugh, a dance, a cry, and especially a drink.
By: Diego Cardoso