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Thundercat: Drunk review – a lopsided wonderland of stoned soul | Musique Non Stop

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Thursday, February 23, 2017

Thundercat: Drunk review – a lopsided wonderland of stoned soul

(Brainfeeder/Ninja Tune)

Now that sun-squelched jazz is having a mainstream moment – thanks in part to Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly – Flying Lotus’s cosmic sidekick sets out his stall in vivid high-definition. Thundercat’s 23-track third album, Drunk, takes you down a rabbit hole and turfs you out in his lopsided wonderland of funk, soul, hip-hop and soft rock, with guest characters including Lamar, Pharrell, saxophonist Kamasi Washington and Wiz Khalifa. It’s an eccentric, surreal and oddly hypnotic listen – most of it, he has said, inspired by the times he’s been less than sober.

The result is restless, like flipping through a graphic novel. Friend Zone is a gorgeous pearl of groove, with hints of underwater funk not unlike Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s; Lamar’s track Walk on By sounds like the sombre result of knocking back a vial of something lurid. The soft rock touches, meanwhile, are a masterstroke. Them Changes pairs elastic, syrupy bass with a perky falsetto featheriness inspired by Kenny Loggins and the Doobie Brothers. And Thundercat brings the former together with the latter’s Michael McDonald on Let Me Show You, drawing a firm line between their 70s LA sound and his own scene’s latter-day efforts. “We young black Hollywood,” raps Khalifa on Drink Dat – and this is its cinematic stoner soundtrack.

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by Kate Hutchinson via Electronic music | The Guardian
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