Childish Gambino aka Donald Glover is the modern day renaissance man. He’s an actor, writer, producer, director, comedian, rapper, singer, and now he’s bringing the late, great Prince’s funk back to life with his latest album. Off the back of his hit tv show ‘Atlanta’, Gambino emerges with the release of ‘Awaken, My Love!’ and of course, because Mr. Glover doesn’t sweat salt and water like normal humans but talent, his latest musical project is a modern day Prince reincarnation.
It’s a mix of political commentary and sex with bass lines and high pitch vocals that echo of Prince in his heydey of ‘Raspberry Beret’. The album, considering Childish Gambino is known as a rapper, has not one rap on the album. In its place, there’s high-level production and a lot of guitar solos and funk.
The whole album is dripping in funk. In ‘Redbone’ you could mistake the vocals for Prince himself, they are high pitched so much that I questioned if it was a female vocalist or his ghost. The song has a slow steady bass line with Gambino’s voice as you never heard it before. He keeps his gritty tone even at such a high pitch, similar to Chance the Rapper’s voice on ‘Colouring Book.’
The album’s tracklist is seamless, with each song creating a new persona for Gambino. In one of the later tracks on the album ‘Zombies’, we see his comedic side come out commenting on the current state of affairs in America and how we now seem to be living in a dystopian novel.
Using zombies as a metaphor for the far right side of politics:
“We’re coming out to get you
We’re oh, so glad we met you
We’re eating you for profit
There is no way to stop it”
‘Awaken, My Love!’ is some of Gambino’s best work to date musically as he goes to the next level inspired by musical heroes and the disaster that is 2017 politics.