Thundercat – The Golden Age of Apocalypse | Album Review

The Golden Age of Apocalypse

In the ’80s kids were fascinated by the cartoon ThunderCats, produced by Arthur Rankin Jr. and Jules Bass, which was based around the group of cat-like humanoid aliens. Of those fascinated kids stood bassist/vocalist Stephen “Thundercat” Bruner, who uses the cartoon series as a namesake.  Thundercat made a following for himself as the bassist for Suicidal Tendencies, Sa-Ra Creative Partners and Erykah Badu, as well as his work with producer Flying Lotus – notably “MmmHmm,” on Lotus’ 2010 LP Cosmogramma – who also produced this entire project. With his debut album, The Golden Age of Apocalypse released this past August via Brainfeeder records, Thundercat is sure to fit into any music lover’s top albums of the year. 

Not only is the music on the album impressive, but as far as debut albums go this album is in a playing field of it’s own with albums like: Lauryn Hill’s The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, D’Angelo’s Brown Sugar, or NasIllmatic — all different genres but impressive and memorable debuts.

The album has a real vintage vibe first from Thundercat’s cover of George Duke’s classic, “For Love I Come,” not to mention a similar feel of Roy AyersWeather Report.  This album actually has a logical flow and tells a story when you really listen to the project.  “Daylight,” is the first official song to open the album and it sets the tone perfectly for what listeners can expect from the rest of the album—great music with minimal lyrics if any at all.

Thundercat – “Daylight”:

From a musical standpoint, every song—literally, has great production and use of instruments.  Everything flows into each other nicely, however, sound different shown with tracks like “Is It Love,” “Jamboree,” “It Doesn’t Really Matter To You,” and “Mystery Machine (The Golden Age of Apocalypse).” The album’s minimal lyrics mixed with the music make for the perfect blend.

Thundercat – “For Love I Come”:

With an album with so much high points, there are definitely a few highlights first shown with the two-part sequence, “Is It Love,” and Thundercat’s cover of George Duke’s “For Love I Come.”  These songs together tell a logical story sequence wise.  The mellowness of, “Is It Love,” essentially speaks to what the title alludes to; Suddenly you came on to me, was it wrong for you to belong to me? Maybe we could find a way, everyday is like a dream to me.

Thundercat – “Is It Love?”

As a sequence from a musical standpoint “Jamboree,” “Boat Cruise,” and “Seasons,” are all highlights, not to mention, the ’80s synth-funk “Walkin,” and the ambience fueled, “Mystery Machine.”

Overall, Thundercat’s album is one of the best albums released this year, not to mention one of the most impressive debuts from a new artist.  Honestly, the vintage vibe of this album will make for this album to be relevant years to come.

Thundercat- The Golden Age of Apocalypse
Released: August 30, 2011
Label: Brainfeeder
Buy: iTunes UK / Amazon UK / iTunes US / Amazon US

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