Kinfolk! I know it’s been a long time and I shouldn’t have left you, y’all know the rest. Many things have transpired and my lap top is shitty(
anyone have the plug on the new Mac Book Pro) At any rate I am back to review some new music. Y’all know I love to register my opinion on music, entertainment,reality television, and all things in between. This time is no different, so let’s get into it!
Fresh off the success of his hit FX network show, “Atlanta”, Donald Glover AKA Childish Gambino dropped a new album titled,” Awaken, My Love!” This ladies and gentlemen is how you drop an album, you strike while the coal is hot! I’ll be the first to admit that I wasn’t really a Childish Gambino fan, but I am willing to give most music a whirl. So when the album showed up in my “New Music” selections on Apple Music I figured, why not? What could it hurt? I was pleasantly surprised by what I heard. The album features 11 tracks, which is a good number. 11-12 tracks is ideal, after 12 tracks it just becomes overkill.
So after Solange came through and offered us “A Seat At The Table” I didn’t think we could get any blacker than that album! Welp! I was wrong Childish Gambino came through and gave us Parliment Funkadelic for 2016. Childish Gambino delivered a BLACK ASS Funkadelic-esque album, and I am HERE for it! He switched up his normally hip hop influenced style for a more soulful experimental sound. This is a risky move for some artists, in that they risk losing their core fan base. Growth and experimentation is VERY necessary as an artist, but there is thin line between growth/experimentation and carrying you audience too fast. Some Childish Gambino fans have turned their collective noses up at the album, but I embrace the change.
Opener, “Me and Your Mama” is a in-your-face funk extravaganza. It starts off soft and sweet, but slowly builds to an instrument heavy kick ass song reminiscent of a Parliment Funkadelic classic. Glover channels his inner Lenny Kravitz on the vocal. This was instantly on repeat. It’s clear from the open we that Glover did not come to play with us! On “Redbone” we find Glover channeling his inner Bootsy Collins, and he even utilizes his upper register, which really matches the feel of this song. This track has a distinct throwback feel, probably my favorite from the album.
“Terrified”exudes sexiness. Glover again shines on this track, but JD McCray knocks this song clean out of the park with her jarring vocals at the end of the song. Her vocals catch you off guard at first, but instantly you’re taken in by her gospel twinged tone. I love this song. “Baby Boy” is heavily influenced by Sly and the Family Stone. On it Glover croons about his new born son and the challenges of co-parenting with his ex. This is some real shit right here, how many people currently have a contentious co-parenting relationship with a disgruntled ex-lover? The organ at the end is like butter, this song is definitely repeat worthy.
Closer “Stand Tall” is another standout track on which Glover recounts advice that his parents have given him, simply “Stand Tall” Although it sounds completely different from “To Be Young Black and Gifted” by Donny Hathaway, it’s in the same vein to me. This was an amazing way to end the album especially with our current social climate. The song is empowering and a very impactful way to close out the album.
Awaken, My Love! was a pleasant surprise for me. I stated early on that I wasn’t the biggest Childish Gambino fan, but he won me over with this soulful body of work. It would really interesting to see how this translates to the stage. At any rate the album is most definitely worth a listen. While Glover may have thrown some of his die-hard fans off with this release, he has a new fan in me! If you truly love music, then I’m confident that you will thoroughly enjoy this album from top to bottom.
Whut say you?