The jazz icon’ latest effort is a heartfelt collection of grief-laden poetry.
The fourth project by funk-psychedelia polymath, Stephen Lee Bruner, has taken Thundercat's world of '80s funk and turned it into meditative reflection.
While 2017s Drunk was a chaotic odyssey of drugs, sex, and blackouts across Tokyo, It Is What It Is is contrastingly modest in its execution. With 15 songs at just 37 minutes, the album floats, only sinking its teeth in at opportune times before disappearing into space. "How Sway" is just Thundercat slapping the bass for a minute straight while Flying Lotus's production takes center stage. The project then goes relentlessly into "Funny Thing," another fast-paced 1:50 seconds, with Bruner asking bluntly, "Do you mind if I wild out a little?" (as if our answer would stop him).
Thundercat - 'Black Qualls (feat. Steve Lacy & Steve Arrington) [Single Version]' (Official Audio) www.youtube.com
The project is full of these vivacious scraps, and at first glance, listeners might miss the existentialism. "Is this real? Is this real?" he asks repeatedly on "How I Feel." "It feels so cold and alone," he croons on the album's brief intro. Thundercat is hardened by the waves of grief that have polluted his life in recent years, but It Is What It Is moves with the fluidity of life. Its as if he's saying: "It's all so fast and vapid, this thing called living, and it requires acceptance that there will always be more questions than answers."
"Stuck in between, it is what it is," he sings with a shrug on "Fair Chance," Thundercat's somber dedication to the late Mac Miller. On "Existential Dread," Thundercat admits that even when dread sets in "loud and clear," he'll "adjust and simply let go." As wind howls in the background, Thundercat admits on the album closer that "sometimes there's regret," before diving into a fabulous closing solo. "Hey Mac," he calls out to his friend. There are moments of silly reprieve ("Dragon Ball Durag,") but It Is What It Is is a coming-of-age tale at its center. "Things became a bit realer to me," Bruner told The New York Times. "I was faced with a choice – to either follow suit or figure it out. And I guess this is me trying to figure it out."
It Is What It Is
Former Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic praised a recent speech from President Trump.
In the midst of a worldwide health crisis, Black Lives Matter protests, and a president who tear gassed citizens for a photo op, people's true colors are really showing.
Many Nirvana fans have been disappointed by the news that Krist Novoselic, the former bassist of the '90s garage-rock legends, has even a sliver of respect for Donald Trump—going so far as to praise the president's recent Law and Order speech. "Wow!!! I know many of you can't stand him, however, Trump knocked it out of the park with this speech," Novoselic wrote in a post on his personal Facebook page. While the musician denounced Trump's threat to use military force to thwart protestors, he said the president's tone was "strong and direct." Novoselic then went on to cite "leftist insurrection" as a root cause of polarizing politics in the United States, although videos and witness accounts of protests have repeatedly claimed that police are often the first to incite violence, thus causing the "riots."
If a brand can back positive social change through financially beneficial PR, that's still a positive.
Corporations have one interest and one interest only: profit.
No matter how much you love a nostalgic toy brand from your childhood or a fast food chain's Twitter account, it's worth remembering that their primary goal is always to get you to buy their product. Brands are not your friends, and it's naive to think that they ever "do the right thing" out of some higher sense of justice beyond their bottom line.
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