After his highly acclaimed Because The Internet, Donald Glover is back with his new creative effort Awaken, My Love!. Teased with songs like Me and Your Mama and Redbone, the album shows a different side of Childish Gambino where funk and soul take over his creative process.
There’s no rapping on Awaken,My Love! which makes it a breath of fresh air, something that seems like it’s Donald Glover’s specialty this year with his outstanding show Atlanta and this whole album. In recent interviews, Glover stated that his main inspiration was the music he grew up listening to and the way 70’s black music made it feel like they were trying to start a revolution. Notes of Funkadelic, Prince and Curtis Mayfield are graciously mixed in this raw and emotional record that gives Childish Gambino a new identity,one that transcends current trends and focuses on the ups and downs of love, fatherhood and how the current sociopolitical climate affects black people.
Awaken, My Love! opens with Me and Your Mama, the first song Gambino gave us before the release and the first hint at what the narrative of the album will be about. The records feels more personal than the others, offering a more vulnerable,raw and honest glimpse into Donald Glover’s mind, one that would not fit with his previous works. Have Some Love is all about spending time with your loved ones and the importance of family while Boogieman, Riot and Zombies focus on recent events and movements related to racism and injustice.
Redbone makes the transition from general to personal, going deeper into the love story laid out for us in Me and Your Mama. California is the funkiest of them all and it just makes you want to let go. Terrified is the most sensual song on this album, definitely the soundtrack to a psychedelic night. Baby Boy is a tender lullaby and an ode to parenthood, followed by The Night Me and Your Mama Met – a beautiful instrumental piece. The album ends with Stand Tall, a moving slow-burn record focused on being strong – Keep all your dreams, keep standing tall / If you are strong you cannot fall. These last 3 songs seem to be a message to Donald Glover’s child born earlier this year, making this whole album even more personal,profound and easier to connect with.
Awaken, My Love! is all about growth, pain, fatherhood and love, a raw side of Donald Glover’s genius, a new identity for Childish Gambino and a capsule for his Baby Boy. Stream this work of art down below.