As his third studio album, Donald Glover (aka. Childish Gambino) is taking his listeners on trip back in time with his newly released third studio album, ‘Awaken, my Love!’.
Compared to the upbeat RnB beats Gambino fans may be used to from his past albums ‘Kauai’ and ‘because of the internet’, his 2016 album is a little slower but breathing authenticity and innovation challenging the stereotypical notions of the usual Gambino sound.
So, here is my take on some of the songs from his brand new album;
As you press play on your Ipod or CD player your ears become quickly accustomed to the cheery, angelic gospel vocals alongside the high-pitched warped synth, heavy bass and steady finger clicking of ‘Me and Your Mama’. Notably, the subtle but echoing drum throughout parts of the song fits nicely with the shattering and pulsating effect of the ‘puppy love’ Gambino’s lyrics speak.
The creative and innovative instrumentals really makes the song and sets the scene for the feel of the album generally. ‘Me and Your Mama’ builds to a climatic electric guitar fused with Gambino’s exhilarating and intoxicating vocals.
‘Have Some Love’ is filled with a catchy drum beat with a dark, electric guitar then Gambino’s vocals add another level pulsating good vibrations throughout the song.
In this album you almost feel as if Gambino is trying to further prove himself as a musician particularly through his vocals which is evident in each song but more prominently in ‘Zombies’.
‘Zombies’ is complete with guitar riffs and airy violins in the background breathing new life into the song, Gambino’s warpy vocals set the scene of the song completed by calming and put you in a trance-like, zombie state (pun-intended).
‘Redbone’ as one of the pre-released singles from the album is definitely one of a much slower-tempo with its hypnotic, repetitive drum beat. Gambino’s vocals take you back to the 1970’s in style, in essence the song just exhales coolness.
Gambino’s changing vocal style song by song is really epitomized in ‘California‘. Yes, this song is different and was one have grown to like. His vocals are VIBRANT as his ever-changing tone and pitch match the dominant percussion and steady deep bass, beachy bongo drums and smooth guitar strumming.
Finally, ‘Stand Tall’ was one that really stood tall with me (pun-intended again, sorry not sorry). This is a colourful and happy song, the lyrics here really tell a lot and are inspiring at best making you wanna go out a grasp the day despite the bullshit thats going on in the world.
One thing I noticed about ‘Stand Tall’ was that its not common you hear a domineering flute in a song but this song combines a flute, trippy synth and old cheerful cinematic gospels with Gambino’s warped vocals putting your ears into a musical trip of sensations.
Overall, this album was one I definitely had to adapt my ears to. It was not the usual Childish Gambino I am used to alternatively this is definitely a more slow-tempo Gambino. However, I found the more I listened to the album the more I got out of it, in essence this is an album that delights the senses.
TAKE A LISTEN TO ‘AWAKEN, MY LOVE!’ HERE: