For a while now, it’s been known that Stephen Bruner has been a purveyor of smooth sounds. Under his Thundercat moniker, he’s released some of the best and funky sounds that a current artist could place into the world. However on his new album It Is What It Is, he steps things up and takes your further into his world of smooth tones and funky jams.
Like much of what Bruner has done with this project, the instrumentation and arrangements are from another planet. The interstellar vibes of “Lost In Space/Great Scott/22-26” is like a ride through seventis space funk without getting too gnarly for the listener. However on “Black Qualls,” things definitely get funkay. With collaborations from Steve Lacy, Steve Arrington and Childish Gambino, Thundercat takes you on a smooth ride into the spacious funk world he’s been building all of these years. This occurs on the short but sweet “How Sway” and on the well arranged “Unrequited Love.”
But like ost recent releases from the producer, there’s these smooth jams that soak into your bones and remind you of better times. “Miguel’s Happy Dance” feels like smooth soul from another universe. “Overseas (feat. Zack Fox)” has the vibes of sexy jam while still evoking the mix of falsetto vocals and groove oriented bass that works so well together. But while we loved the chill vibes of “Dragonball Durag,” it’s the spacious tones of “King Of The Hill” that really makes the journey here complete. Bruner gives the track his all complete with doo wop vocals and saucy beats. The song is sexiest when his falsetto comes in, but there’s a depth through the instrumentation that shows Thundercat at his best. As it seems, Thundercat will be dropping sultry music for a minute, and this album continues that tradition.
It Is What It Is can be purchased directly from Brainfeeder Records. It’s also available to stream on all platforms or it can be purchased in all digital outlets.
Image Credits: Photo by Carlos G/The1point8.