Awaken, My Love, Childish Gambino Review
Having gone silent over the course of two years it was inevitable the project that multi-faceted entertainer Donald Glover would release next was bound to be a masterwork. Following the first season of his critically acclaimed FX series, Atlanta, came the return of Glover’s musical moniker, Childish Gambino. A little over two years removed from his STN MTN/Kauai mixtape/EP which exhibited versatility ranging from hard hitting bars to shimmery pop we are gifted with his newest album, Awaken, My Love! Here is my Childish Gambino review.
His third studio album exhibits a sound as ambitious as ever, ditching his witty punchline styles for a genre-bending collection of soul, psychedelic rock and funk. A little under an hour of groovy experimentation starts off with a powerful opening statement, “Me and Your Mama” and is followed by “Have Some Love”, which sounds just like something out of a 1970’s cookout. On “Boogieman” Gambino ironically gives his take on police brutality, in which he claims to be the threat, although he’s not the one holding the gun.
“Redbone”, the album’s second single, sounds like something off Tame Impala’s last album providing the perfect balance between funk, distorted vocals and woozy production. Next is “California”, a sunny beach day anthem where he goes into his best Young Thug impression with a ridiculously catchy mumbling flow. “Baby Boy” is an ode to Glover’s newborn son as he addresses the hurdles he must jump in the relationship with the child’s mother.
The album’s outro, “Stand Tall”, shows the light at the end of the tunnel and is a perfect way to close the versatile melting pot that is Awaken… My Love! No, this is nowhere near the rapping display of Camp nor the theatrics of Because the Internet, but those two are nowhere near the sonic innovation and rawness of Gambino’s newest project.