|Year of release||2017|
Last week I bought this album, after reading positive reviews. No regrets. To be more clear: I have gained a fantastic album.
Thundercat is the moniker of (super) bass-player Stephen Bruner. Thundercat is not easy to categorize. He plays many different types of music. He was raised in a musical family. His father was a good drummer who worked with Diana Ross, The Temptations and Gladys Knight. His brother, a drummer as well, worked with Kenny Garrett and Stanley Clarke, among others.
The first time he got recognized was with punkband Suicidal Tendencies, replacing Robert Trujillo, who had left for Metallica. He found the local L.A. scene, where different genres were being mixed together, to be very interesting and exciting. He began working with all kinds of artists, among which Erykah Badu en Bilal. He worked with funklegend/bass-player Bootsy Collins on a Snoop Dogg song.
The most important cooperation was with DJ, producer and instrumentalist Flying Lotus: he sang and played bass on Cosmogramma from 2010. In 2011 Thundercat’s debut album The Golden Age of Apocalypse was released, which was enthusiastically reviewed by critics. His second, much darker, album Apocalypse was released in 2013 and was heavily influenced by the sudden and unexpected death of friend and piano/player Austin Peralta, who was only 22 years old. After that, Thundercat contributed to a great number of important albums, among which Flying Lotus – You’re Dead!, Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp a Butterfly and Untitled Unmastered, Kamasi Washington – The Epic.
After the release of an EP (The Beyond/Where the Giants Roam) in 2015, his third album was released on 02/24/2017. Guests on the album vary from Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald to Kendrick Lamar, Wiz Khalifa and Pharrell.
The album is highly diverse: smooth soul, soft rock, jazz fusion, synth funk, new wave, it’s all there, containing a strong end 1970’s/beginning 1980’s feel. I feel weird – Comb your beard, brush your teeth / Still feel weird, Beat your meat, go to sleep is, after the intro, the opening to the first song Captain Stupido. In A Fan’s Mail (Tron Song Suite II) he wants to be a cat (meow, meow, meow). But there is also a lot of room for more serious topics, like in Jameel’s Space Ride: I’m safe on my block, except for the cops/Will they attack, would it be ‘cause I’m black?. The album is a musical paradise. The album’s highlight is Them Changes: a very strong funk song. Only 6, out of 23 (!), songs on the album are more than 3 minutes long. An impressive album by a unique talent!
Thundercat – Drunk image: pitchfork.com