Review: Childish Gambino Takes a New Direction With ‘Awaken, My Love!’

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Childish Gambino’s newest album was released in early December. The release followed two singles, ‘Redbone’ and ‘Me and Your Mama’. This album comes two years after his last album, ‘Kauai’, which some saw as a transition from rap to R&B. Gambino publicized the album by breaking his hiatus from social media and publishing a link to a list of concerts for the debut of his album. ‘Awaken, My Love!’ debuted at number 5 on Billboard charts, making it one of his most popular albums yet.

The album itself is a new direction for Gambino. While previous albums have been entirely rap, ‘Awaken My Love’ is a slower R&B/Soul album. The New York Times called it, ‘A straight throwback to the 1970’s’. The influence from the 70’s shows through in the smooth melodies and loose vibes. All 11 songs flow into the next creating a relaxing tone overall.

My favorite song on the album is ‘California’ because of its upbeat attitude and lyrics about my home state. The album took some getting used to, since it was so different from his previous work, but after listening to it I really enjoyed it.

There was a lack of lyrics in some songs and all the songs in the album rely heavily on instrumentation and in some cases this completely overtakes the lyrics. Gambino is known for his clever lyrics, so it was a disappointment to not see that as much in this album.

I would recommend this album to listeners who enjoy other artists like Anderson Paak or music from the 70’s. I would advise people not to judge it right away and listen through once before comparing it to Gambino’s old work. This album is perfect for hanging out with friends or if you’re trying to create a chill environment with a unique soundtrack.

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