As far as musical families go, the Bruners are quite something. Three of the Bruner brothers (Ronald Jr., Stephen a.k.a Thundercat and Jameel) were Grammy nominated in 2016 and since then we’ve received another album (‘Drunk’) from modern bass maestro Thundercat. Today though we focus on elder brother and drum wonderkid Ronald Jr.’s debut album ‘Triumph’.
Drummer led albums are not all that common, but to tag Ronald Bruner Jr. with only that moniker would be disingenuous. As ‘Triumph’ evidences he is also a very accomplished composer.
The tracks won’t appeal to your pop sensibilities. ‘Geome Deome’ for example escalates through a series of increasingly frantic solos. We get somewhere close on ‘Sensation’ featuring Mac Miller, but catering to the pop market is not what this album seeks to do. It showcases an angle on emotions presented through duelling instrumentation and expertly crafted dynamics. The vocals (when they appear) only add further clarity to the story rather than telling it in its entirety.
Whilst you will undoubtably stand up and take notice to the drum fills and punchy, full beats laid down by Ronald. Jr on each track, the performances this bed lays down coaxes similarly virtuoso like shows out of his fellow players (including Thundercat on ‘Take The Time’).
To paraphrase the tagline of a tin of a well known wood stain (in Britain at least), this album [is] exactly what it says on the [cover] a ‘Triumph’.