Thundercat Releases Jazzy “Drunk” Album

Josue Lozano Rodriguez, Staff Writter

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Thundercat’s third studio album “Drunk,” an exhibition of  his eclectic and versatile style with funky, jazzy vibes that listens like a problematic adult life dealing with girl, social and personal issues. Furthermore, Thundercat’s underlying theme of accepting death is portrayed by the slowly changing eeriness of each track becoming darker as the album lapses.

Stephen Bruner is better known by his stage name, Thundercat, an artist from L.A’s record label Brainfeeder that houses artists such as Daedelus, The Underachievers and The Gaslamp Killer. The album features Kendrick Lamar on “Walk On By”, Pharrell on “The Turn Down”, Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald on “Show You The Way” and Wiz Khalifa on “Drink Dat.”

“Drunk” was produced by Thundercat and Steven Ellison better known as Flying Lotus, the duo’s many works since Thundercat’s first feature on Flying Lotus’s third studio album “Cosmogramma.” Since the beginning of their partnership Thundercat and Flying lotus have released and produced many albums like “You’re Dead,” where the theme was going through the five stages of grief and loss. They also worked together on Thundercat’s second studio album “Apocalypse” making a jazz, rock, r&b album with Thundercat’s whimsical lyricism.

Thundercat and Flying Lotus have successfully connected  R&B, rap, rock and jazz by bringing different artist to collaborate on Thundercat’s album. Thundercat takes his listeners onto a rollercoaster ride of emotions starting on a upbeat, happy tone and slowly turning into a more introspective and pensive one. The theme of acceptance in this album could be related to the other works like Flying Lotus’ “You’re Dead” whose theme of grief and loss could be connected to his friend Austin Peralta’s passing.

Thundercat relates to the late-night Adult Swim viewer; he makes songs for all those weird and awkward situation everyone gets into but nobody really wants to talk about it since it’s uncomfortable. His quirky lyrics make fun of situations which can be serious, his eccentricity makes you forget about the seriousness of life and letting its listener relate to Stephen Bruner.

For example on tracks like “Friend Zone” Thundercat says “I’m your biggest fan but that’s not good enough” talks about the issues we all deal with when we are trying to be in a relationship. Furthermore on “A Fan’s Mail (Tron Song Suite II) he says “I wish I had nine live, I bet it feels nice” the second edition of a  song dedicated to his cat Tron.

But to reduce the album to its lyricism is to miss the genius that is Thundercat and Flying Lotus. On the track  “Uh Uh” the background of Thundercat’s jazzy bass, the piano comps off of Thundercat in what sound very familiar to Thelonious Monk’s phrasing, very odd timing but appealing to the ear. Then on songs like “A Fan’s Mail (Tron Song Suite II)” there is a beautiful duet between the bass and electric guitar playing off of each other with the bass playing the lead and guitar on rhythm.

Thundercat has worked his way into music history by producing creative music, bringing different genres together and collaborating with artists such as Flying Lotus, Erykah Badu, Suicidal Tendencies, Mac Miller, Kendrick Lamar and many more.

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Josue Lozano Rodriguez, Staff Writer/ Features Editor

Hey there, my name is Josue (Ho sway). This is my second year writing for the Mesa Press. My goal as a journalist student is to bring attention to music...

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