Donald Glover, aka Childish Gambino, is breaking all creative barriers. The brainchild of one of the top TV shows of the year, “Atlanta” on FX, and the new cast member for the Star Wars movie franchise just released his first album in over two years titled, Awaken My Love. Gambino has always pushed the boundaries of his showmanship but on Awaken My Love, he’s put down the raps from previous projects (2013’s Because The Internet, 2014’s Kauai) and picked up rock and funk as his guiding forces on this project.
As soon as you press play on “Me and Your Mama,” immediately you are met with ’80s synth leads and layers upon layers of harmonic bliss. The change that takes place in this song is reminiscent of the music that ’70s and ’80s funk legends Sly and The Family Stone and Parliament curated back in their heyday. Gambino spoke about his influences recently in an interview with Billboard.
“I remember listening to songs my dad would play [from] albums by the Isleys or Funkadelic and not understanding the feeling I was feeling,” he said. “I remember hearing a Funkadelic scream and being like, ‘Wow, that’s sexual and it’s scary.’ ”
Songs such as “Have Some Love,” and “Zombies” are laced with sounds of pumping electric guitars, low-mid range drums, and those same screams that Gambino mentioned of his musical influences.
On “California” and “Stand Tall,” Gambino meshed together the sounds of early California beach music and today’s style of singing with the various filters that he used to manipulate his vocals in each song.
Childish Gambino’s new album is now available on iTunes and you can also stream the album on Spotify and other streaming outlets.