Tuesday 7 July 2015

Review of 'The Beyond/ Where The Giants Roam' by Thundercat

When you’ve listened to as much soul and funk as I have you begin to get desensitised to the slinky chords and groovy basslines. Everyone becomes another wannabe-Stevie-Wonder, another wannabe-Steely-Dan. It takes an artist like LA producer, singer and bassist Thundercat to prove that funk and soul still has room to evolve.

The Beyond/Where The Giants Roam is barely an album at seventeen minutes in length, but feels grand in scale. Each song, produced by Flying Lotus, is drenched in spooky reverb to sound epic, particularly the vocals. Stylistically, Thundercat lays down his signature stamp with unique chord progressions, almost dissonantly sour but equally pretty. His lyrics meanwhile are dark and melancholy. ‘Song for the Dead’ is self-explanatory, whilst ‘Them Changes’ is a song about literally losing one’s heart.

The dynamics are brilliant throughout, more so than previous Thundercat albums, making this feel like the most complete release in the artist’s discography. Punchy and concise funk number, ‘Them Changes’, is immediately proceeded by slow and brooding number, ‘Lone Wolf and Cub’, showing that Thundercat can be just as energetic as he can be atmospheric. And yet as dynamic as the album is, the overall sweet and gloomy mood is cohesive throughout.