Before you’ve even hit play on Drunk, Thundercat already has the vibe sewn up with by far the most amusing album sleeve of 2017 yet.
In a world where gravitas is chased by so many, a man who’s had it since day one is finally letting loose. That album title is no joke, as this is the sound of Thundercat having fun and 100% making us question if he’s on something stronger than alcohol (a track called Lava Lamp? Come on, we know what’s going on here).
If it’s the “Jesus take the wheel” refrain on Captain Stupido or the frantic, breathless instrumentation of Uh Uh, this feels like the sound of a man recording his jam sessions and letting the world listen in. Except it would be, were it not for tracks like Bus In These Streets, which is not only one of the most refined of the album but one of the best in his career.
And while most tracks clock under the three-minute mark, Thundercat makes the most of them. Jethro is free-wheeling space-R&B mixed with a bit of cosmic funk, a lot like what Matt Martians tried to master with his solo album. Where Thundercat succeeds, though, is the effortlessness; where he fails, however, is running away with his whimsy and sprouting his second half off into so many directions that it’s hard to keep up (case in point: a wind-down tracklist that reads Inferno – I Am Crazy – 3AM – Drunk, and his final track says “This is just gonna sound like I’m on the hash”. No shit, pal).
Still, there’s enough here to enjoy even if it’s hard to love. Buckle up and join Jameel’s Space Ride, but just make sure you don’t get the fear halfway through.