Stephen Burrow aka Thundercat is a Grammy award winning and multi faceted musician, hailing from Los Angeles, California where he’s world renowned for his singing, producing, and perhaps most notably his work as a bass guitarist. Throughout the last decade Thundercat has seen his career rise along with his list of high profiled collaborators, where to date he’s worked with Erykah Badu, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Kendrick Lamar (in which he’s been recognized as a main contributor to To Pimp A Butterfly), along with likely his closest collaborator in fellow LA producer Flying Lotus.
On his latest album Drunk Thundercat adds to that list by collaborating with legendary vocalists Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins, where they’ve even performed altogether and have made live appearances in promotion of the album
Nonetheless without further ado Drunk is the 3rd studio album from the critically acclaimed Thundercat, and for the most part it satisfies while adding to the unknown artist's relative mystique.
“Friends, they come and go, that's okay, I'm kind of bored, let's go hard, get drunk, and travel down a rabbit hole…” Produced by Flying Lotus & Thundercat this is a perfect introduction to the album and it’s 39 seconds of good music 👍
“I feel weird, comb your beard, brush your teeth, still feel weird, beat your meat, go to sleep” Under the same production as the previous record (as is the case throughout most of the album) this one is more comical than anything, whereas the actually melody and music in general deserves better than the foolishness they put in the lyrics. Not a skip but not a recommendation either.
All instrumental with background vocals and Thundercat and Flying Lotus are jamming on this… nothing crazy but cool instrumentation nonetheless
Bus In These Streets
“Thank God for technology cause where would we be if we couldn’t tweet our thoughts? Won’t you leave some things to mystery? Opening your mouth removes all doubt” This one is somewhat comical as well but it’s also clever and comes with a thoughtful message behind it, furthermore the production is once again great and the melodies are on point as well. Overall a solid album cut.
A Fan’s Mail (Tron Song Suite II)
“I wish I had nine lives, I bet it feels real nice, sitting in the sun, letting the rays wash over me, no one watching over me, I do what I want, everybody wants to be a cat, It's cool to be a cat” Continuing the theme of a previous record that he devoted to his cat, Thundercat proceeds with this dedication and as a lover of all species and animals I completely get it. Essentially this one’s eclectic enough and with help from Sounwave production this one serves as another decent album cut.
“Maybe another time and space, when I can look you in the face, far, far away, maybe in another life…” Produced entirely by Sounwave this is one of the smoothest records off the album 🔥🔥🔥
“Young drifting light, drift on by, shine on me, then pass me by…” At only 1 minute and 35 seconds this is another perfect record and it’s clear that both Thundercat & Flying Lotus understand that in music less can mean more.
Day & Night
Another instrumental but this time I don’t really hear the purpose. skip...
Show You The Way ft Michael McDonald & Kenny Loggins
“Tell 'em how you feel, Kenny, Kenny Loggins… ladies and gentlemen, Michael McDonald…” somehow someway the lead single from Drunk has two legitimate features from... Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins??? That’s fire even before you press play, and once you do this record definitely delivers. The story behind the collaboration is interesting as well, and it shows that it’s always smart to pay homage to your inspirations.
Walk On By ft Kendrick Lamar
“I want a lot more things, Biggie tried to tell me what a lot more bring, a headstrong man would take a lot more strain, seeing pleasure in the presence of a lot more pain” Nvm that Genius has no idea how to annotate this record yet they desperately try all the same, this is standard Kendrick and standard Thundercat… and along with their previous collaborations (Wesley’s Theory and These Walls) this is definitely more heat from where that came from.
“I want to experience all the light has to offer me…” Produced by Sounwave the melody just isn’t there this time… this one is an easy SKIP
“Restless nights in Tokyo, Wanna hear all the sounds and see all the sights, from the Champs-Élysées to the Gundam Cafe, gonna eat so much fish I think I'm gonna be sick, gonna blow all my cash on anime (Yes!), don't try to stop me cause I'm over 9000, just point me to the pachinko machines, I think I'm Kenshiro, I think that I'm Goku, can I just stay one more day?” An ode to the capital of Japan and everything in it, this one is entirely produced by Thundercat himself who in his own words has a love affair with the city, more so than I personally do with the record - even though I’d consider it a solid album cut that adds to the overall project.
Jameel’s Space Ride
“Miss me with that nonsense, I'm free as a bird (free), and light as the wind, just leave me alone (easy), just let me ride off into space (space ride), that's where I want to be (space ride)” facts and at one minute and change this one is good enough for me.
“I'm your biggest fan, but I guess that's just not good enough, is it cause I wear my hair weird or because I like to play Diablo” Produced by Mono/Poly this is another comical record but it actually works as the ultimate friend zone anthem, not mad at this and feel it adds to the album (even though I don’t think it was good enough to be the second single)
"I've been traveling so long, I don't think I can hold on, where were you when I needed you the most?, now I'm sitting here with a black hole in my chest, a heartless, broken mess” Once again produced by Thundercat & Flying Lotus, this is ultimately some of their best work and one of the standouts on the album
Where I’m Going
“Here it comes, in and out and around, feeling bare, almost there…” nah…. SKIP!
Drink Dat ft Wiz Khalifa
“Can't open my eyes, girl, cause I'm just too wasted, you're taking me higher, straight shots with no chaser, I'm up past the clouds, can't come down, we're too faded, way out in the stars, she said, ‘Come to outer space’" This one’s cool for the vibe and I co-sign Thundercat’s contributions in spite of a lackluster verse from Wiz… who hasn’t seem to have tried to rap well in ages
“Out of the pan, and into the fire, the descent into madness” At 4 minutes and 1 second this is officially the longest record on the album, and truth be told it could have been half the length. A solid album cut and nothing more.
I Am Crazy
“Bittersweet memories cloud my faded mind, and if I was so lucky, I could press rewind” At 26 seconds I like this one 👍
“3 o'clock, just can't close my eyes, something's wrong with me, no, I can't deal, I can't go to sleep, there's something in my heart, the streets keep calling me” 👍 👍 👍
“Drowning away all of the pain, till I'm totally numb, sometimes you want to feel alive, but not on someone else's time” The title track is heavy and complete with good lyrics, but ultimately the melody doesn’t leave too much to really enjoy. A debatable skip if not for the thoughtful lyrics and purpose within the theme of the album.
The Turn Down ft Pharrell Williams
“look at the mess we've made, who's gonna clean it up? Oh my God, where's Captain Planet?” Pharrell does his numbers and this is the very definition of a meaningful album cut
“One more glass to go, where this ends we'll never know” Using the same melody as the intro, the outro brings the record full circle, which for the most part was definitely an enjoyable listen.
At 23 records the album may seem somewhat ambitious to fully dive in to, but when you consider most of the tracks play like interludes and the overall project comes in at 51 minutes, it’s overall an enjoyable listen if only you’re in the right state of mind for it. At different times Drunk is thoughtful, humorous, smooth, and melodic, and ultimately upon the album’s completion you feel like you’ve really been on a journey to some kind of realm of a further dimension. Although it plays as a cohesive album the standouts have to be Lava Lamp, Show You The Way, & Walk On By, and in it’s entirety the album is a definitely a solid addition to his catalogue that will only add to his critical acclaim.