Childish Gambino – Awaken My Love

★★★★★

  1. Me and Your Mama: 👍🏻
  2. Have Some Love: 👍🏻
  3. Boogieman: 👍🏻
  4. Zombies: 👍🏻
  5. Riot: 🤷‍♂️
  6. Redbone: 👍🏻
  7. California: 👎🏻
  8. Terrified: 🤷‍♂️
  9. Baby Boy: 👍🏻
  10. The Night Me and Your Mama Met: 👍🏻
  11. Stand Tall: 👎🏻


I lost track of Community at some point, and haven’t gone back to finish it. I really liked Troy, Donald Glover’s character. I was totally floored when I learned that he was a staff writer on 30 Rock and left the show to be on screen again. I’m always impressed by people who are seemingly at the top of their careers and have the gumption to leave to pursue something else. Donald Glover seems to just keep doing this. He did it to jump to Community, and then to leave it early to start a music career. And then he did it again with this album, departing from hip-hop and moving to soul. Oh and then somehow he also made one of the best TV shows of last year. Amazing guy.

I knew he was a hip-hop artist, but I also knew he rapped under the name “Childish Gambino” which just struck a wrong chord to me, until I watched this:

I didn’t like the name at all but now that I know it came from a Wu-Tang Clan name generator it somehow makes perfect sense to me.

I was totally floored by this album, although maybe not as much as Questlove. This is an album that is definitely not without flaws but is also greater than the sum of its parts. Even the tracks I didn’t like I at least appreciated somehow. Riot seemed to have a bit of a mixing problem; the high-end was too much for me. Terrified sort of made me uncomfortable, but I’m pretty sure that was the pointCalifornia I kind of actually liked, but between the toy instruments, weird rhythm, and dumb singing voice it was just a little too much for me. Stand Tall I loved at the start. It reminded me a lot of Stevie Wonder’s Songs in the Key of Life in a way I really enjoyed a lot. I also caught hints of Parliament Funkadelic, Prince, and even Steely Dan throughout the album. But, as the last song, it … just … sort of went bananas at the end. Like his Adderall just couldn’t quite hold out long enough to make it to the end of the album.

All that said, this is a great album that I’m glad I heard and will almost certainly return to.

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