Childish Gambino
"Awaken, My Love!"


4.5
superb

Review

by Sebastian USER (46 Reviews)
December 1st, 2016 | 644 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: this is donald.

I feel like Childish Gambino and Donald Glover are two of the same. Obviously, being the same person, this is blatant, but most separate their rap persona from their real life persona. Eminem isn’t actually going to go on a murderous rampage, and Kanye doesn’t actually think that him and Taylor might still have sex. But Glover, wherever he is in his career, typically reflects it in his music. Camp saw a brash, all-over-the-place, stary-eyed kid with plenty to prove and equally as much to say. Because the Internet showed the more self-aware, secure Glover; filled to the brim with wit and character. And now, we arrive at Awaken, My Love!, showing Donald (and in essence Childish) as the intelligent, grown-up movie star whose life is full of adventure and happiness. And what an adventurous and happy man he is.

Although Childish has shown glimpses of what his capabilities are regarding soul and melody (Flight of the Navigator anyone?), nothing compares to the character and heart showcased throughout Awaken…. Lead single Me and Your Mama shows his incredible ear for melody, drawing comparison to pop icon Prince in the way he weaves and soars throughout the song via his much improved vocals; the music is so interconnected with the vocals that the up-and-down of both feels so natural. Not only does Childish provide some amazing vocals, his implication of gang vocals for much of Awaken… adds a surprisingly beautiful layer and never feels forced or overdone. On follow-up track Have Some Love, with its groovy bass and drum line, the gang vocals are used throughout, but Gambino also leaves some space for himself to belt out some incredible high notes. And the soulful beauty doesn’t stop there; it only picks up on Boogieman, the guitar line guiding the track through its spacey atmosphere.

Sexy is perhaps an odd descriptive, particularly for Childish Gambino, but it seemingly fits like no other to describe much of the performances on Awaken…. The vocals throughout Zombie and the way it dances around the electronics and bass line; the chaotic Riot with its soaring highs; and Redbone, with its filtered vocals and delicate piano and bass incorporation. All of this can perhaps be attributed to producer Ludwig Goransson. Having worked on all previous Childish records, along with TV shows such as Community and New Girl, his ability to incorporate so much and make it ebb and flow as seamlessly as it does is admirable in its own right. Glover’s vocals, whether they be altered or incorporated as is, maintains its power in performance without detracting from the marvellous instrumental performances.

Although Childish abandons his rap past, it’s seemingly for the greater good. Every song on the album could potentially contain a rap verse, but they would feel forced and unnecessary. Unlike Because the Internet, where there were perhaps too many ideas to result in a satisfying record, Awaken… sticks to its soul and R&B roots throughout and is the better for it. The ‘instrumental’ The Night Me and Your Mama Met puts a picture in the mind of the listener of just that; meeting someone you know you want to spend the rest of your life with. The slow build-up, from ukulele to vocals to soulful guitar solo is so incredibly done the listener has no troubles getting lost in the moment. And all of this leads to the finale, Stand Tall. Perhaps the best showcase of what Awaken… is really about, Childish soars over a subtle guitar line, before the middle of the song slows down and auto-tunes its way to the final two minutes, where he once again hits the highs and the listener experiences the song at hand.

Perhaps the only detractor from the near-perfect Awaken… is California, with its somewhat annoying auto-tuned and forced vocals, but regardless, Childish has found his calling in soul. His incredible vocal performances throughout, in conjunction with a stellar instrumental production courtesy of Ludwig Goransson, conveys the change Donald Glover as a person has experienced since Because the Internet. With a wife, child, and brand new vision on life, both Donald Glover and Childish Gambino have gone through a change that is well worth experiencing for yourself.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Drubbi
December 1st 2016


161 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Ayy it's here. 2nd of December here in Aus. Enjoy it.

Digging: Tyler, the Creator - Scum Fuck Flower Boy

bloc
December 1st 2016


42052 Comments


Should be a good one

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ScuroFantasma
Contributing Reviewer
December 1st 2016


10460 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review, I really hope this is as good as you make it sound, going to try and pick this up on Monday.

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BlushfulHippocrene
December 1st 2016


1552 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thank God for timezones. I don't think I like this, though, which is disappointing... California is awful on first listen, and I'm only really feeling some of the songs. It might grow though, sweet review.

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Sinternet
December 1st 2016


13831 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Imma write a review for this tomorrow prob but soubds good so far

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guitarded_chuck
December 1st 2016


13241 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

the fact he didnt put it out on spotify has me not wanting to even bother



who does he think he is, kanye, no ones actually paying for your shit donald

BlushfulHippocrene
December 1st 2016


1552 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'm listening to it on Spotify right now (in Australia), was he not meant to put it up there?

guitarded_chuck
December 1st 2016


13241 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

the whole thing? i didnt think so

kylemccluskey
December 1st 2016


145 Comments


There are a handful of grammatical and punctuation errors sprinkled throughout, but overall this review was very well conceived. Have a pos.

FullOfSounds
December 1st 2016


15372 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Excited for this

TVC15
December 1st 2016


8222 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

So hyped. Me and Your Mama is SOTY

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FullOfSounds
December 1st 2016


15372 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Did this leak or something?

JeetJeet
December 1st 2016


4179 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah it leaked. Haven't heard it but its probably an AOTY contender.

guitarded_chuck
December 1st 2016


13241 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

oh its not out yet thats why its not on spotify



i assumed it was cause reviews arent allowed until the actual release date

BlushfulHippocrene
December 1st 2016


1552 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's December 2 in Australia and other parts of the world. I assume reviewer reviewed the leak of course, but it's on Spotify/released officially here.

owen
December 1st 2016


4774 Comments


listens to funkadelic once

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Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
December 1st 2016


15560 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

fuck i'm too excited

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RivalSkoomaDealer
December 1st 2016


1600 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's coo.

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Point1
December 1st 2016


258 Comments


Good review although it bothers me that you italicize song titles instead of putting them in quotations.

StickFeit
December 1st 2016


510 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This this slays hard



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