Childish Gambino Echoes Smooth Sounds of the Seventies
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Childish Gambino’s new album Awaken, My Love!, (his first in nearly three years) which came out on Dec. 2, is a return to musical styles of the past.
Many songs in the collection use sound effects reminiscent of the 1970s and 1980s.
The first song on the album, “Me and Your Mama,” starts with synthesizer and high pitched vocals that sound like something Marvin Gaye would have recorded in the 1970s, but then evolves into the guitar and drum-heavy sound of a rock band like Pink Floyd or Led Zeppelin.
Nostalgic sounds are used in other songs as well, such as “Boogieman” and “California,” which feature funky beats and high pitched James Brown-style vocals. This use of retro sound is quite different from his other rap-heavy albums such as Because the Internet from 2013 and Camp from 2011.
I find myself enjoying many of the throwback tracks on the album. Even with the enjoyable songs, I find myself missing a good loud rap number to blast like “Sweatpants” from Because the Internet. It almost feels like the new album is incomplete without a rap.
My favorite song would have to be “California,” just because of how weird and different it is. He sings it like he is out of breath, a stark contrast to the cheery background beat. The lyrics themselves are very cynical, an attitude that is easy to sympathize with right before midterms.
In fact, the album features almost no rapping, something Gambino is well known for. This may disappoint many of his fans who listen to him for his rapping talent. But the tracks hold up nonetheless.
However, if you enjoy a lush 70s sound, I would wholeheartedly recommend giving a listen to Awaken, My Love! by Childish Gambino.