Thundercat – Apocalypse
If you have come to an understanding that R&B has forfeited all of its humanity, creativity and futurism, well, quite simply, you're just wrong, and you certainly haven't been paying attention. Apocalypse, the new album from L.A. musical wunderkind Thundercat, should make you pay attention. Enormously gifted, incredibly versatile, and as comfortable in his role as Flying Lotus' low-end muse as he is as half of the rhythm section of Suicidal Tendencies, Thundercat is, no doubt, a musical super-nerd, obsessed in equal measures with theoretically complex song structures and studio-effect mastery, but also blessed with an incredibly humanistic touch on the bass guitar and a falsetto singing voice that splits the difference between gentle and genius. The result is a forward-facing fusion of art-funk and soul, with moments danceable ("Oh Sheit It's X") and weird ("Tron Song") and both ("Lotus and the Jondy") and neither ("Seven"). It may not sound like the retro-minded soul music deemed acceptable by people who actually don't like soul music, but if you like your R&B daring and funky and musically intense, then this is the future of the genre you've been waiting for.