When Childish Gambino dropped his last album 'Because The Internet' at the end of 2013, it quickly became one of our favourite albums of that year. And here we are once again, all ready to wrap up the end of 2016 and suddenly Donald Glover reemerges to drop a last minute bombshell. Yet despite everything he has released up until now, 'Awaken, My Love!' doesn't really see the frontman do any rapping. Instead we are treated to a George Clinton-style funk-odyssey, with Glover showing off his pipes for once.
And while this drastic change in genre would not normally go down well with any other names I can think of on the hip-hop scene, for some reason, Gambino seems to make it work to his advantage. Always seen as sort-of a black sheep character in the industry, 'Awaken, My Love!' seems to have really exposed his naturally creative side. Don't get me wrong, he isn't much of a singer, but combined with the incredible production and song-writing throughout, this new record seems to trigger the tone of this year so far as he looks to push himself into very uncomfortable territory.
It seems like I'm hating on this new album, but actually this is something truly special from the actor-come-musician. Imagine if Kendrick Lamar chose to sing on 'To Kill A Butterfly' instead and you'll get a sense of what this record is. A brilliant homage to the foundations of black music and culture that is as inviting as it is engaging.