Single Review: Thundercat - Final Fight | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

Single Review: Thundercat – Final Fight

Thundercat's latest single bursts with anxious energy, yet fails to reach the highs of his last project, reviews Rhiannon Storer

Everyone’s favourite pink-haired mythical bassist has returned. Stephen Bruner aka Thundercat - best known for his collaboration with Kendrick Lamar, Kamasi Washington and Erakah Badu - has released a new song as part of the Adult Swim singles program, and stands as the series’ 54th single. Entitled “Final Fight”, one would expect, judging by the title, the song to sound like a forcible departure from his stoned-soul vibe - a deranged sucker-punch of jazz similar to Miles Davis post-In A Silent Way. Rather, thankfully, the song keeps Thundercat’s whimsical nature at heart and captures the energy of its old school Capcom arcade namesake.

It maintains its astral glitter jazz-fusion style, but you can’t help but feel that the song sounds too ‘bubbly’
It’s less thoughtful, or introspective, than songs such as ‘Them Changes’ or ‘Is It Love?’, but by listening to the song you can sense a bed of anxiety in Thundercat’s music. A skittering, filtered hi-hat cuts through slick psychedelic bass riffs. It maintains its astral glitter jazz-fusion style, but you can’t help but feel that the song sounds too ‘bubbly’ - almost in an overactive way like one of those cheap plastic volcano you see in fish tanks at aquariums. It’s not a smooth mellow jam - in fact the song itself depicts a pretty nasty breakup with lyrics: “I'm about to Snap, Crackle, and Pop / I'll take a few deep breaths / Getting kind of mad, about to lose my shit / Thinking I should jump, jumping out the window.” Still, while Thundercat’s vocals retain a decent melodic range, I can’t help but feel that this track would be better suited as an extended interlude on Drunk, than a full song outright.

This is not a song to vibe to on a chill night with your friends, but certainly the song continues to show the weird and wonderful mind of Thundercat and proves that his music shouldn’t be taken so seriously.

final year political science student


15th May 2018 at 9:00 am

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