This isn’t a review, just a few notes I’ve picked up after listening to this non-stop.
– The new album is It Is What It Is , and what it is is all good vibes. If you know Thundercat, you’ll know what to expect. Besides a few full pop structured tracks he honestly hasn’t changed his sound all that much, but it’s my favourite collection of his thus far.
– The album from start to finish is great, but every now and then it goes on to a whole other level. “I Love Louis Cole” is the best track I’ve heard this year. It’s so uplifting and reminds me of something I can’t put my finger on, some coming of age movie from the 80s or something.
– The record is so playful. In a world where an album can only be critically acclaimed if it brings up political, social, or economic issues, Thundercat is just living his best.
– Ty Dolla Sign and Childish Gambino feature, but it must just be backing vocals because they are unrecognisable. I’m kinda glad about that, I’m not spinning Thundercat to listen to some lame ass Childish Gambino rap.
– One rap feature that does work really well is Lil B. He almost wanders on to the track and gives a great verse over an instrumental that sounds like it should be on the Forbidden Planet soundtrack.
– The musical style reminds me of flying Lotus’ last record, Flamagra, from last year, which Thundercat also played a big hand in. It sounds kind of alien and dream-like. This isn’t your usual bass lead funk, but there are so many textured details and sonic pockets. It’s Bassy and Spacey.
– The album really slows down when it gets to the final track – a musical Ode to Mac Miller. (If you haven’t already seen it, you should watch Mac’s Tiny Desk Concert from a few years ago. Thundercat features on a song and lights up the whole place.)
– This is Thundercat’s best album. It’s breezy, and in no rush to get where it’s going. It Is What It Is fucking slaps and I have never meant that more in my life.