If there’s one thing that we’ll take away from 2016, it’s that there can be no missteps when journeying on the path to self-awakening. Sometimes the expected is never the respected but when it comes to Donald Glover it seems he’s awoken anew this year projecting his true inner spirt both visually and sonically into the universe.
After a standout television breakthrough with his series ‘Atlanta’, Glover not only created, wrote and starred in the making of his vision but also found satisfaction in projecting his inner geek into existence by landing the role of Lando in the next Star Wars movie and a role in the forthcoming ‘Spiderman: Homecoming’.
Musically, Childish Gambino the rapper as we knew him, took a bow and faded into the background, just as a new soul ridden funk-fuelled Gambino emerged out of the shadows and into the light. But before ‘so called’ critics descend to pick apart the sonic influences of ‘Awaken, My Love!’ drawing comparisons between psychedelic rock to p-funk – just walk into a room, draw the curtains and solitarily confine yourself to sonic contemplation . ‘Awaken, My Love!’ may not appeal to fans hoping to hear remnants of the ‘old’ Gambino, his transformation is complete as Glover walks tall embodying his pride and joy.
If ‘Me and Your Mama’ and ‘Redbone’ gave any clues about what to expect from the album, coming in at 11 tracks it’s a deep musical spectrum drawing it’s heart and soul from sounds of the 70’s and beyond. This is solely Donald Glover feeling strong in his own skin and finding his soulful stride with a funky strut.
First stirring something in the deserts of Joshua Tree in September, Donald Glover introduced ‘Awaken My Love’ as a complete live music experience called PHAROS, capturing it all in virtual reality and subsequently making it available on his PHAROS earth app. Featuring a clip of ‘Me And Your Mama’ the VR experience leads you inside Gambino’s PHAROS “world” of a 150 foot diameter, 60 foot high dome holding 2,500 fans.
Childish Gambino’s new album, ‘Awaken, My Love!’, is released today via Glassnote Records and available to stream on Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes here.