Lately old music has become new. People like Thundercat, Kamasi Washington, Flying Lotus, Leon Bridges, St. Paul and the Broken Bones, and Robert Glasper are making music that harkens back to styles like Jazz, Funk, Soul, and Blues. Even more mainstream artists like The Weeknd are bringing back touches of the old and making it new.
“Them Changes” is the most visible representation of this, it sounds like something the Isley brothers could have made - until that amazing piano solo. The bass is so funky, the guitar is clean, the little synth touches are great, and the piano is spectacular. Then the sax gets put into it and it is so smooth. Thundercat’s vocal fits really well over the top and the harmonies and doubles really make his vocal stand out. The reverb and delay used on his vocal are reminiscent of recordings of Al Green, Otis Redding and Marvin Gaye. Even though it is reminiscent of those older recordings it feels new, some of the effects on the vocal are very modern. At one point the vocal seems to go from the top left to the bottom right and then it repeats to the edges of hearing.
The only other song on The Beyond that is over 3 minutes is “Lone Wolf and Cub” and goodness gracious the bass solo at the end! It is unbelievable! It deserves all the
"YES!" reactions that are possible. The atmosphere that was also building in the back was perfect, it really lent itself to the story that was going on.
Overall, this project is solid, even though it clocks in at just 16 minutes. The instrumentation is gorgeous, the mixing is great, and the content is good. The only problem is that it is only 16 minutes. That is not enough, even though those 16 minutes are fully packed and insanely enjoyable. I just wish there was more.
by Addison Garry (@addisonagarry)