Awaken, My Love
By now, the world knows who Donald Glover is.
From “Community” to the sharp and universally beloved “Atlanta” to his forthcoming Star Wars role, he’s carved out his persona; he’s likable, sensitive, and observant, the self-aware everyman.
But Childish Gambino has always been harder to pin down.
Since emerging with throwaway mixtapes under that alias, Glover has released two highly self-reflexive rap full-lengths, a Southern rap EP and a straight pop EP, and hosted a mysterious, cell phone-free festival. The unifying thread connecting all of this has sometimes been hard to spot. His recently released “Awaken, My Love!” is his hardest left turn yet, ditching rap wholesale in favor of funk worship, and the result is his most enjoyable project to date. In paying homage to heroes, he even hits upon some of the genuine emotional connection that has often been missing from his music.