Childish Gambino – ‘Awaken, My Love!’ (Dec 2016)
Now, I do know Childish Gambino. The name and face are both familiar. But perhaps my knowledge is a little shy of where it should stand as someone who sees himself as a music enthusiast.
To address this, I’ve done a little research.
The first surprising thing to note is, unlike the name would suggest (if you were Italian), Childish Gambino isn’t an infantile human with little legs. No, surprisingly his parents didn’t Christen their son ‘Childish’. That would have been… well… you know.
‘Awaken, My Love!’ is Donald Trump’s third studio album. SORRY, Donald GLOVER. It’s Donald GLOVER’S third studio album and is a slight psychedelic diversion away from his hip-hop-based past. It’s almost as though his music is a reflection of the mood of the era in which it is released. Notoriously, 2016 was a weird year. And so Gambino has reflected that by shifting towards a more…perculiar sound.
The adjective that sprung to my head initially was creepy. Creepy with an undertone of funk. I think that’s why some of his fans refer to getting ‘crunk’ – everyone’s a wordsmith.
There’s a constant, slightly disturbing undercurrent of fetishism, and looking through the track listing – ‘Redbone’, ‘Terrified’, ‘Zombies’, ‘Boogie Man’ – it’s almost as though he’s a man in terrible trouble who’s desperately trying to cry for help, but chose the long winded method of writing and recording an entire album instead of just calling the police. Donald, if there’s a noise under the bed – just tell us.
In all seriousness – it’s a deeply satisfying album but perhaps the enjoyment of which would very much depend on your mood at the time. The funk and soul throughout is infectious and the psychedelic twist makes it unique enough to stand out as a great album.
Apart from the fact that the beginning of ‘Redbone’ sounds like the Noddy theme tune, its a big thumbs up from me.
Rating: Definitely listen again, remember he hasn’t got little legs. 4 STARS