Childish Gambino "Awaken, My Love!" early reactions

  • administrators

    What are your initial thoughts on the album?

  • @Jacob You can tell there's a definite Funkadelic influence, and it leads to a beautiful masterpiece

  • Its a loose connection of stories in every song that just work together. Over everything he has released, its a completely different sound every time. That makes him so amazing. So much soul and rock and funkadelic flows. Just beautiful music. You have those notes that he just either hold or hits where you just shake your head and smile.

  • I think it's amazing! I was able to go to the live performance in Joshua Tree and it totally brings me back to that experience! You can clearly tell that he has worked on his voice so much. We got a taste of his signing on songs like Urn and Sober, but there was no way for us to imagine his vocal range being this amazing. This album shows how much talent he truly has. Great!

  • I just can't get over the guitar tones and flavors, so much of it is King Crimson, Funkadelic, wow. He has paid true attention to detail on this one and I am LOVING IT. I can't wait to further sit with and analyze this album! Well done Donald <3

  • It's that weird music I love. No song sounds the same. The songs have so many layers. He sings differently almost every song. It's straight dopamine for me. If he sang normal on some tracks like California or Boogieman it wouldn't necessarily fit in what the music itself is trying to do. There's absolutely no way it won't be in my Top 5 of the year.

  • Definitely a new direction for him, and way more ambitious than anything he's ever done before. I really really like AML, and I think it'll get his best critical reception yet, but part of me still wants a follow-up to Because the Internet. Just my opinion.

  • @jacob Def. a strong contender for album of the year IMO. 100% saying this because I am biased CG fan but oh well. I love that he can go from 'Because The Internet' to this. A completely new sound for him but still very much CG. This is my model of musical excellence and one day hope to manage an artist with such vision/talent.

  • @estmcmxci agreed.

  • It's really powerful. The funk vibe oozes George Clinton and Positive Force, and I guess I never noticed how great a singer Gambino is because he belts out some great notes on this thing, especially on the closer "Stand Tall." We needed vibes like this.

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  • I think that everyone wants this to be great. I think that objectively it might not be on the same level as Atlanta or Because the Internet. It seemed like in this album he is trying to find himself and his style, there is nothing wrong with that but I have a hard time touting it as best album of the year when it is an experimental project. Not the masterpiece that we all had been expecting.

  • It's ok. I don't love it, but it's an alright album.

    He sounds like Macy Gray sometimes and that gets on my nerves.

    My favorite songs are the ones where he just sings normal. Over-produced vocals are a pet peeve of mine

  • administrators

    @jthrill Macy Gray voice!! so true. I love that he took this chance, but some tracks left me a little cold. I think this is it @tetanus : "I have a hard time touting it as best album of the year when it is an experimental project."

    I like certain songs (Terrified, Baby Boy, Riot) but I was excited to see Gambino keep up the 'Atlanta' momentum and elevate to top-tier status. Feel like he had a chance to do that, and went a totally different direction. I wanted 'TPAB, we got 'Yeezus.'

  • administrators

    Hey guys, we're trying to get a better idea of the general consensus on this album, so if you have a second, take our poll and let us know how you'd rate it. Hoping to get a huge sample size and we'll report whatever we find next week.

    Spread this around if you can!

  • At first glance it has its moments, and those moments are dope enough that it makes up for the headscratchers... like "California" - WTF.

    I don't see this as an experimental album really at all. Most of it sounds like somethin you would find crate-diggin for samples in the 70's Funk/Soul section. It stands out in today's music scene cuz no on else is doing it. When he falls short it kinda sounds like he's ripping off the sound and its boring , but when he hits he makes it his own and its saucy as fuck - "Redbone" "Me and Your Mama" "Terrified" "Baby Boy".

    Love that he took the chance- album's ok. Gotta listen a few more times

  • my first reaction to the singles were the same as when i listened to the full album,

    "wow. this is refreshing. donald can really do anything."

  • Echoing @Sol_EQ's evaluation -- it literally sounds like Donald listened to a bunch of P-Funk and adjacent acts and put out a work CLEARLY indebted to that stuff. Like, not really drifting from that script in any respect. Good, but derivative.

    It was initially dumbfounding to me that it was getting covered as though it was some sort of new, innovative product. Good album by a guy obviously warranting coverage, but let's not front like we'd be losing our minds if it were someone with less of a profile -- to say nothing of the fact that people have been doing this sort of revival funk for years. But hey

  • i think people forget that CG always made weird ass music. before all of his mainstream music, and before AML, he always had this eccentric style. y'all ever listen to his poindexter or his i am just a rapper mixtapes? it was always kinda weird. Granted, he def took straight from the funk but i think it was more of a natural progression in his body of work.

    but when i first listened to me and your mama i immediately fell in love.

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