The Beyond/Where The Giants Roam Album Review
Genre: R&B, Jazz Fusion, Electronic, Psychedelic Jazz, Funk
Thundercat’s style has dispelled all notions of what jazz is, rather, he’s progressed and innovated the genre into a new tomorrow. Fresh off his collaboration on Flying Lotus’ dizzying and cathartic You’re Dead!, Thundercat has now dispelled the common notion of what an EP really is, delivering a spellbinding six-track journey that’s chalk full of moments of brilliance, talent, and soul. Dubbed as a “mini album”, the, whatever you want to call it, is a statement from the bassist auteur himself, a momentary perspective through his eyes.
The album opens with some crooning, reminiscent of something Michael Jackson would’ve put out in the late 80s. While not as captivating as his normal stuff, the opener is a soothing welcome. The EP truly begins with the subtle yet funky “Song For The Dead” which shines brightly, accentuated by Thundercat’s glimmering falsetto and six-string bass which punctuates the quiet spots on the track. It’s a calm change of pace that quickly begins to pick itself up when the next track “Them Changes” comes in.
“Them Changes” features Flying Lotus and Kamasi Washington – both musicians who are revolutionizing jazz for a modern area. The funky organs, crooning falsettos and, undeniably funky bass sets up a groove that once you get used to it, it’s hard not too love. Despite the awkward segue in the middle, the warped bass makes up for any disappointments it may produce.
“Lone Wolf and Cub” is a psychedelia warped jazz piece where everything gets swirled into the mix: synths, bass, falsettos, synthesized drums (?), acoustic guitar, strings – it’s all here. ‘The Moment” adds to Thundercat’s self-titled mysticism and sounds awfully like one of the transition tracks on You’re Dead! “Where The Giants Roam/Field Of Nephilim” offers nothing more than smoothed out vocals drenched in glimmering synths. For a jazz album, Thundercat adds a lot of flair and psychedelic shadows to the genre’s already run-of-the-mill sound.
While the album isn’t a captivating experience, it is an enjoyable one. Thundercat will always be here and I’m sure there will be another release from him in the future. For now, The Beyond/Where The Giant Roam feels like a transition EP, only hinting at greater things to come.
FAV TRACKS: : “Them Changes (feat. Miguel Atwood-Ferguson and Mono/poly), Lone Wolf and Cub (feat. Flying Lotus & Kamasi Washington)
LEAST FAV TRACK: That Moment (feat. Flying Lotus)