Childish Gambino's Stunning 'Awaken, My Love!' Debuts at Number 1
By A.D. AMOROSI
There has been much to hail in 2016 when it comes it music and television, but only one man had such a fascinating lock on both mediums with equal doses of daring and brilliance: Donald Glover. His FX Network series Atlanta was a subtle, assured socio-political comic triumph. Just as engaging, Glover’s newest album, Awaken, My Love!, recorded as his alter-ego Childish Gambino, ends the year with soulful, stylish, stunning and sexy innovation. Gambino made a real show of such sensuality on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon on December 14, with a shirtless performance of the jittery, Prince-like “Redbone.”
Debuting at No. 1 on Billboard’s R&B Albums chart, Awaken, My Love! moves far beyond the cool, quirky hip hop of Gambino’s previous two efforts – Camp (2011) and Because the Internet (2013) – with a move into dense, psychedelic soul, free classicism and prog-rock. Defying expectations, Gambino doesn’t rap a lick of Awaken, My Love!, but rather croons, barks and screams his ass off on poignant tunes such as “The Night Me and Your Mama Met.”
Imagine early Funkadelic at play in The Court of the Crimson King and you get an idea of new Gambino ballads such as the trippy "Me and Your Mama" and "Terrified," wack funk jams such as "Boogieman" and “Riot,” and even soulful, sarcastic takes on the business of entertainment such as “Zombies.”
It goes without saying that upon release, Awaken, My Love! immediately jumped into my Top Ten albums of 2016 (a list Glamorosi Magazine will reveal before year's end). Lord knows if Gambino will have much time to tour for this album as he has for past records he’s released: soon he starts filming what is currently known as the Star Wars "Untitled Han Solo Star Wars Anthology Film" in the role of a young Lando Calrissian. May the force be with him, and the funk with the rest of you.
Posted on Thursday, December 15, 2016