After more than two years of no music, Childish Gambino released his third studio album with “Awaken, My Love!,” released Dec. 2, 2016.
In this album, Gambino continues to show his progression and growth as an artist. He strays away from rapping for almost the entire album, primarily giving listeners a mix of psychedelic soul, funk and R&B sounds.
Gambino shows great control of his voice, tone and range with strong, consistent vocals. He uses a variety of tones that keeps the listener engaged from beginning to end.
Love is the main message in the album, but Gambino still delivers diverse content, as the subject of love allows him to cover many different topics.
In the track “California,” he talks about his love for a woman and his determination to keep that love forever. In “Have Some Fun,” Gambino urges the listener to escape all the hate and find a sense of togetherness.
Gambino has a song titled, “Baby Boy,” dedicated to his newborn child. It is a touching track, in which he talks to his young son and tries to teach him important life lessons about relationships and the fleeting nature of life.
Gambino gives a lot of relatable content in the project. Whether a person is in a high point in their life, or a low one; they will find something to relate to.
This project is a huge risk for Gambino. As he explores new genres, he may gain new fans, but he could also lose his the rap fans that follow him. He doesn’t have any traditional rap verses that his fans have grown accustomed to.
Songs like “Bonfire” and “Sweatpants” seem like a thing of the past for Gambino, as this album is slowing the pace and aggressiveness down, and shows more focus on instrumentation and R& B type vocals.
“Awaken, My Love!” will have his fans split down the middle, with some saying that this is his best project to date, and others debating that it is his worst. Picking a side will be half the fun.