June 22nd, 2015 | Album reviews

The Beyond/Where The Giants Roam

Thundercat is an amazing vocalist and bassist who is in high demand these days, appearing on Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly and Kamasi Washington’s The Epic, two of the year’s most celebrated albums. After a two-year wait, we are presented with a release of his own work courtesy Flying Lotus’ imprint Brainfeeder. This 6-song release really shows off his talent for composition and singing. Mixing elements of soul, hip-hop, beat, and funk, the sounds hit hard and push the limits of genre. As if returning the favor for all the work he has been putting in around town, there are some great collaborations and cameos on this album as well: Kamasi Washington appears on the funk-driven track “Them Changes” with some saxophone hooks. The song starts off with a hip-hop driven drum beat that is quickly followed up with a funk bassline. The high notes that Thundercat hits on some verses and the sheer range he pulls out on this track alone make this album worth the listen. Other cameos include the legend Herbie Hancock on keyboard for the track “Lone Wolf and Cub” which has a bass solo that really sets the somber and dark mood. Flying Lotus co-produced half of the tracks on the album, giving it some of his signature flair. Overall, this is a great album from a highly sought-after musician. The only complaint is that it’s not longer.

—Zachary Jensen