Music

Thundercat - "Show You The Way" (feat. Michael McDonald & Kenny Loggins)

Thundercat can take anything and make it sexy. Damn.

Chris Ingalls: Once again, Thundercat is the master of taking us all back to a smooth, bygone era of seamless, laid-back funk. Recruiting McDonald and Loggins is the real coup here -- the grooves are silky bedroom sheets but the Steely Dan funk of the vocals really drive it home. There are some people who would cringe at this type of concoction, but for anyone who pines for the adult contemporary urban smoothness circa 1979-1981 and thinks Bibio is too "out there", this is the perfect fit. [8/10]

Adriane Pontecorvo: There’s been a lot of bizarre news in January, but the fact that 2017’s sexiest track so far convincingly features both Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins is still pretty unexpected. “Show You The Way” is expertly produced R&B with a strong '80s/'90s soul sensibility, giving your cochlea all those good, melting vibes. It’s a mature song, finely aged and produced, but it also samples Sonic the Hedgehog, because Thundercat can take anything and make it sexy. Damn. [9/10]

Paul Carr: This dreamy, hazy love-in from Thundercat is so smooth it could dim the lights, light candles and serve you a chilled glass of Sauvignon Blanc before you’ve even pressed play. The dense groove floats past on a languid cloud. As if things weren’t smooth enough, Thundercat enlists the higher pitch sensual white soul of Kenny Loggins and the deeper, richer voice of Michael McDonald. The soft vocals give it a hazy, spacey vibe allowing the song to glide by effortlessly. However, their presence also makes the whole thing a little too velvety. It tries a little too hard to be seductive. Actually, on second thoughts, turn the lights on, change into comfier trousers and see what’s on the telly. [5/10]

Steve Horowitz: What could be more unhip than Michael McDonald? However, Thundercat sweetly uses him to convey the pleasures of faux soul. And Kenny Loggins has gone so low as to write a children's book based on one of his best songs -- it was bad enough when he did a Xmas record. But Thundercat reminds the listener of the worth of music one once heard. And it was good. The sonic references to Steely Dan fit right in. This song is more of a novelty than a solid effort, but with Thundercat showing the way, well, the future looks bright. [7/10]

SCORE: 7.25

The City Beneath: A Century of Los Angeles Graffiti (By the Book)

With discussions of characters like Leon Ray Livingston (a.k.a. "A-No. 1"), credited with consolidating the entire system of hobo communication in the 1910s, and Kathy Zuckerman, better known as the surf icon "Gidget", Susan A. Phillips' lavishly illustrated The City Beneath: A Century of Los Angeles Graffiti, excerpted here from Yale University Press, tells stories of small moments that collectively build into broad statements about power, memory, landscape, and history itself.

Susan A. Phillips
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