Album Review Thundercat - The Golden Age Of Apocalypse

That his charisma shines through so much is what really makes this album.

The danger of a Flying Lotus produced jazz album is that it will be filed alongside the likes of Burial and ‘Kind Of Blue’ to form the perfect hip dinner party playlist. The host hopes the music will show off their cool and good taste but will be inoffensive enough to provide a background soundtrack to their self-important drawl.

Of course, ‘The Golden Age Of Apocalypse’ is not a Flying Lotus record even though his work behind the controls is evident and it reprises some of the musical passages used on his ‘Cosmogramma’ album. But where ‘Cosmogramma’ was a dense mind-fuck, ‘Golden Age’s’ airy electro-funk gives the listener room to breathe. Compared to Flying Lotus’s warped trip this is jazz on ecstasy.

Thundercat has had a long time to develop his own sound. He has collaborated with a diverse range of musicians and is still the bassist for Suicidal Tendencies. But despite his name you’re more likely to hear him purr than roar on his debut solo album. On ‘Golden Age’ he comes across as wide-eyed and loved up. There are plenty of warm synths and bass effects that makes it feel like he’s reaching through the speakers to give you a hug, along with skittering tip-toe drums and tinkling piano and xylophone parts.

His bass leads most of the tracks, although it is often treated so much that his work on the fret sounds like hands on a keyboard. And his vocals add a couple of lines of California orange juice sweetness here and there. There are a couple of songs that could be real standouts but don’t quite breakout into full-on pop. Perhaps Thundercat should consider a collaboration with a chart star.

That his charisma shines through so much is what really makes this album. He is never forceful and rarely wanders off into bass noodling, preferring to let the tracks flow. Along with the little phrases that get stuck in your head and put a smile on your face it is his personality that elevates ‘Golden Age’ above a second course CD to be heard around an Islington dinner table.


Tags: Thundercat, Album Reviews, Reviews

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Stay updated!

Get the best of DIY to your inbox each week.