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According to disputed records of history, the celebration of Valentine’s Day, as a time for romance and extravagant gestures, is centuries old. But the experience of romantic feelings unreciprocated—be it by ancient Roman citizen, medieval serf, or modern man—has haunted the holiday since the start. Thundercat, well aware of this liminal space between love and friendship—scientifically known as the “Friend Zone”—offers a balm to those suffering on this day. His latest single, from his forthcoming album Drunk, is a steamy, funky revenge song, made for anyone in the world with reservations for one tonight.
On “Friend Zone,” Thundercat is as funny as he’s ever been. His writing is deliciously petty, vivid, and just oh so relatable (“I’m your biggest fan/But I guess that’s not just good enough/You stuck me in the friend zone”). He complains about screening calls from his potential lover, and out of frustration makes a resolve to never pick up the phone: “Don’t call me/Don’t text me/After 2 a.m/I have enough friends.” Thundercat also demonstrates his magical ability for finding colorful, full-bodied chords, that perfectly mirror this song’s sense of ennui and melancholy. He uses an array of synthesizers to expertly paint this sad scene of broken promises. “Friend Zone,” might be the best song you hear on Valentine’s Day, because it’s probably going to be the most honest. Forget those affirmations of true love, as Thundercat sings, “That’s that bullshit.”Share