Thundercat’s approach to music is hugely refreshing. Flying in the face of order and system, he makes music that exists as he wants it to, rather than feeling he needs to curb his instincts to conveniently fit a style. For ‘Drunk’ that means a dizzying, whistle-stop tour of his mind in 23 tracks, visiting dark corners, funny spots and some incredibly deep and poignant centres. Along the way he enlists a starry cast to help him, with some expected names (Wiz Khalifa, Kendrick Lamar, Pharrell Williams) and some off the wall numbers (Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald in the warm and soulful ‘Show You The Way’). His beats are inventive, he likes to have some fun and he creates some truly unusual visions, and through much of ‘Drunk’ there is a slightly fuzzy warmth that comes after a couple of drinks – “I love you guys” and all that. Having said that, things get a little darker and more unhinged as the album goes on – ‘Friend Zone’, ‘Inferno’ and dfgd prime examples. Being a bass player the grooves are never less than wonderfully flexible – step forward ‘Them Changes’ – but even short snippets like ‘Day & Night’ and ‘Blackkk’ press the right buttons. There truly is never a dull moment in this record, and it doesn’t sprawl either. More excellence from a musical figure of genuine originality.
Ben Hogwood
5 out of 5