Childish Gambino - '3.15.20'

7/10

Over the last few years, Donald Glover's Childish Gambino project has grown from a bold yet interesting run-of-the-mill hip-hop pursuit to something altogether more profound and moving. His first two records 'Camp' and 'Because The Internet' introduced him as the next big name on the rap scene, regularly releasing fresh and diverse cuts that always looked to separate him from the over-saturated crowd he had found himself in. But with his 2016 LP 'Awaken, My Love!', dropping the rap pretence entirely, it was clear that he was beginning to see himself in a new light, and this is exactly what we get on his fourth full-length '3.15.20'.

Surprise releases like this one are always shrouded in mystery and secrecy, but usually that ends once the album has been released. In the case of '3.15.20', the cryptic clues continue onwards with the album showing us nothing but a nearly all white album cover and the majority of the tracklist just being a series of numbers indicating their place on the runtime. But despite its clearly avant-garde approach in its presentation, this new collection continues that intriguing sense of discovery he has always been looking towards. Clearly taking influence from Prince on this new release, his newest work is a fascinating tapestry of adventurous songwriting and production that once again shows him one step ahead of the curve.

It may still have that latter-days-of-Kanye vibe to it, but '3.15.20' is one of those true repeat listening albums. It is never going to sink in after just the first listen, but even after a second go at it, you'll find plenty more to enjoy here and that seems to give it this ever-evolving persona that offers up something new under each layer.

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