Childish Gambino
Because the Internet


2.5
average

Review

by Aziz STAFF
December 9th, 2013 | 210 replies


Release Date: 12/10/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Rec League.

Whatever your feelings towards Donald Glover the musician, you have to respect the effort he put into publicizing his new album Because the Internet. Besides exploring new and vast territories sonically, Glover wrote a 70-something page screenplay meant to accompany listening to the album, and even recorded a few silent scenes to underscore the various punches of the record. Everything about this new album alludes to a more mature and experimental Gambino; he built his (Wu-Tang generated) name on dick jokes and cheesy, albeit endearing punchlines, but that playful vibrancy that detailed his back-catalog is all but gone in 2013, an oft-forlorn, more personal Childish Gambino replacing the old one with cliché Hollywood despondency and slurred, Drake-esque coping, drowning in the haze and lechery of it all – his indifference before the penitence. Sonically, Because the Internet is an ambitious mess of experimental success and perfunctory failures – as a whole, the production is stellar and largely innovative. Gambino and Ludwig Goransson pluck notes from all across the sonic spectrum for Gambino’s undertones, opening with the haunting, parched desert of “The Crawl” and its seamless transition in and out of a somber orchestral interlude that you might hear during a particularly moody segment of FX’s Louie. Other instrumental standouts include “Shadows”, which sports a tight, noodling math rock (yeah you read that right) beat, and the rumbling, hypnotic 3AM daze eddying the cloudy, not-so-lurid story of Gambino’s first murder (disclaimer/spoiler alert: it’s a spider) on “No Exit”.

For the impressive work on the boards though, Gambino’s lyricism has taken a step back. Previously an almost exclusively punchline rapper, there are few to be found on the album. Most of the low-key cleverness that made Childish Gambino songs interesting and easy to get through has been abandoned for a more “artistic” style of rapping – he’s varying his flows more but verses are now emaciated banalities, sometimes even truncated 4-6 bar offerings that just seem longer due to his acrobatics and the difference that the instrumentals truly make; furthermore, even the times when he does try to be comedian Donald Glover the jokes just come off as stale and unoriginal (“Half-Thai thickie all she wanna do is Bangkok”, har har). His hooks have gotten better though, and despite peppering most of the album with samey sing-song hooks, they’re at the very least tolerable, if not brief and enjoyable intermissions (“The Worst Guys”, “Shadows”). In addition to the hooks though, Gambino has removed all traces of rap on some songs and left only his crooning; the latter half of the album is honestly more of a neo-soul affair than anything else. And as interesting as that may sound to some readers, most of these songs end up being unnecessary and extraordinarily lengthy excursions into the world of the proverbial tormented artist (“Flight of the Navigator”) that ultimately paints Gambino as an overindulgent bromide, penning flatulent songs that attempt to profoundly uncover the webbed corridors and unlatched recesses of his mind but fall flat when the progression of the songs suggest that he really has nothing to say. The unfortunate truth is that though the album starts out strong with its arresting production and standout tracks (“The Crawl”, “The Worst Guys”, “Shadows”, “No Exit”), there’s not much reason at all to venture past the first half of Because the Internet, and that, coupled with Donald Glover’s bipolar identity disorder is what ultimately makes his newest album little more than a well-wrapped platitude.



Recent reviews by this author
Run the Jewels Run the Jewels 2Logic Under Pressure
Iceage Plowing Into the Field of LoveYour Old Droog Your Old Droog
The Roots ...And Then You Shoot Your CousinScHoolboy Q Oxymoron
user ratings (429)
Chart.
3.5
great
other reviews of this album
VigorousDuck13 (4.5)
I don't know who I am anymore-...

Patrick S (4)
Not just an album....

Braeden Bailey (3)
Only gotta drive for the moment....

Narshh (4.5)
Poppin pills at the Coachella...

related reviews

Culdesac

EP

Camp

Royalty
recommended by reviewer
Drake Take Care
Lloyd King of Hearts

Comments:Add a Comment 
GnarlyShillelagh
Staff Reviewer
December 8th 2013


6188 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

so yeah that's that i guess

HolidayKirk
Contributing Reviewer
December 8th 2013


1664 Comments


That 2.5 looks great next to that cover.

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
December 8th 2013


22034 Comments


3005 is a bang so I'll check this

Digging: Azealia Banks - Broke With Expensive Taste

GnarlyShillelagh
Staff Reviewer
December 8th 2013


6188 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

agreed kirk

fish: first like 12 tracks are like a 3.5 or so but after that it goes all downhill

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
December 8th 2013


22034 Comments


wait how many tracks are there on here

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
December 8th 2013


22034 Comments


ffs

GnarlyShillelagh
Staff Reviewer
December 8th 2013


6188 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

like 19 kekeke

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
December 8th 2013


22034 Comments


my glorious attention span is gonna have fun

GnarlyShillelagh
Staff Reviewer
December 8th 2013


6188 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

lot of interludes though so it's not like hubardo long

HolidayKirk
Contributing Reviewer
December 8th 2013


1664 Comments


Probably never going to listen to thiss.

humblerodent
December 8th 2013


217 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

flight of the navigator is an incredible piece of music not sure how you came to your conclusion

Rev
December 8th 2013


9439 Comments


i'm glad he's gotten rid of the stupid puns but I still will probably hate this

GnarlyShillelagh
Staff Reviewer
December 8th 2013


6188 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

twas a snoozefest fumme

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
December 8th 2013


3492 Comments


as ae whole


otherwise fantastic work as usual

GnarlyShillelagh
Staff Reviewer
December 8th 2013


6188 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

That's odd, checked my MS Word version and it didn't have that error; I must have messed it up when I was transferring it. Got it all fixed up now though, thanks Will!

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
December 8th 2013


22034 Comments


oh no man so far this is banging

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
December 8th 2013


22034 Comments


beat on Worldstar is so good

YourDarkAffected
Contributing Reviewer
December 8th 2013


1684 Comments


"Whatever your feelings towards Donald Glover the musician"

I could be wrong, but don't you need "are" there between "feelings" and "towards"?

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
December 8th 2013


22034 Comments


nope

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
December 8th 2013


10362 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

damn nice review but I think Glover sounds better than ever here



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy