By: Lorelei Kenny
Earlier this month Childish Gambino dropped his third studio album “Awaken My Love!” and now that the initial shock has subsided we can simply revel in its reality. Gambino trades in his heavy hip hop rap beats for 70s groovy melodies. EVERY TRACK IS A BOP! Gambino shows off different textures of his voice: clear falsettos, frantic howls, and intense gospel singing. His lyrics are at times raw and deep, and at other times just fun and bizarre. He tackles issues of consumerism, parenting, and falling out of love. This album is intricate, it’s soulful, wild, and mellow; it has funky bass lines, electric guitar riffs, and wicked synthetics. Highlights from this album are hands down ‘Me and Your Mama,’ ‘Redbone,’ ‘Zombies,’ and ‘Baby Boy.’
Me and Your Mama: It is easy to get lost in a daze in this track; the two minute build up mellows you right out . . . and then BAMB! The song erupts into this full blown rock gospel break-up song that is full of power and passion. Gambino’s vocals and scream are chilling and the gospel chorus just brings the desperateness to a whole new level. However, the aggressiveness quickly dies down and the relaxed baseline and trembling tambourine puts you back into that mellow trance.
Redbone: So incredibly funky! Gambino’s surprising high vocals are smooth and soulful. The steady snaps are smoking, Gambino’s echoing screams are hot and the lyrics are bizarre. Wicked synth chords and piano accents are the driving force in the track until the outro where the electric guitar propels the song groovely to its end. What a groove!
Zombies: The squiggly guitar and jumpy piano draw you in at the beginning; then Gambino comes in with this freaked-out tone and these haunting backup singers. In this track, Gambino addresses the trap of commercialism and evil of exploitation. Its message is a bit unsettling but the song manages to still bring a party-like feel.
Baby Boy: Makes you wanna swerve like Will Smith. Starts off mellow af, the bass is groovy and the keyboard is relaxing. Gambino’s tone is shaky and rough which fits the seriousness of the song’s message of parenting. It is definitely much lighter than the previous songs.
Without a doubt one of the best albums of 2016!