Awaken, My Love! by Childish Gambino awakens fans


Max Hurley, Staff Writer

On Dec 2, Childish Gambino aka Donald Glover, released a new album called “Awaken, My Love!” Instead of being a rap album, like the ones before it, it’s more R&B. Fans who enjoy his rap side, this album might not be your cup of tea. For those who want a great listening experience and enjoy the R&B genre, “Awaken, My Love!” is the album to pick up.

At times Gambino does not sound like himself, coming off more like Prince or Ray Charles. The song “Me and Your Mama,” starts off with a woman singing and he is heard in the background. Around the two-minute mark, it quickly switches over to him singing loudly, similar to Ray Charles. It isn’t bad that he sounds like someone else; the fact that he is inspired by legends is great.

In the song “Redbone,” his Prince side comes out. Not only does Gambino sound like him, but he did it so well that Prince himself would probably enjoy it. The instruments sounds so much like a Prince song, but at the same time it doesn’t. Four minutes into the song, one of my favorite guitar solos I’ve ever heard starts and it sounds like modern day reggae. The guitar with the soft piano and the slight beat of a drum is a great way to end a song and it is perfectly executed here. Like every album he’s made, he has a song about not trusting the person you love, “Redbone” is that song. It’s too late for them to fix their relationship and he sings about it throughout the whole song.

The closest he gets to rapping is in “California,” which might be the best song on the album. Not only do I feel happy when I listen to it, I want to dance. The song makes me get up and start grooving. The upbeat pop-like beat mixes well with simple wooden instruments. Maracas and the wood flute are clearly heard, combined with beautiful background singers add up to a master piece called “California.” Though he is using auto-tune and it can be hard to understand at times, he still makes me want to move to California by singing about how fun and laid-back it is there.

The album ends with “Stand Tall” and it takes all that was in the songs before it and perfects it. It begins with him singing about standing up and being strong and a simple guitar and piano is behind him. It transitions to a mediocre auto-tuned Gambino, a part that could be fast forwarded. The last two minutes takes what was heard before and makes it better. The wooden instruments, the guitar, the pop-like beat and his beautiful background come together and makes me want more.

I give this album a nine out of ten, the fact that he does not rap is a bit of a let down, but it does not make it bad. I would not mind if R&B is the genre Childish Gambino sticks with, I’ll definitely keep buying his albums. For an optimal listening experience, listen to this album with headphones, full blast and with your eyes closed.