Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Childish Gambino "3.15.20"

Going for an ambiguous, minimal presentation of this latest collection of songs, the multi talented Danny Glover AKA Childish Gambino follows up Awaken, My Love with 3.15.10. Its title simply signifies its release date. The plain white album cover furthers the lack of definition, its songs labeled simply with numbers signifying their arrival time on the overall listen. Only two tracks receive a name, Algorythm and Time, the first signifying that Danny is in touch with the times and pondering the human changes of this technological, data driven world is currently finding its way through.

Continuing with his inspired revival of the 70s shades of R&B, Soul and Funk, this newest iteration looks for a little obnoxiousness in its compositions, a handful of opening tracks experimenting with bold, over pronounced instrumentation and sample manipulation that penetrate the musical forefront. Many of these songs leave little in subtlety, bringing bright viscous sounds forward with jolted percussive rhythms, sometimes hinging on a groove but often feeling a little of kilter and niche.

After a slow unrolling of lengthy tracks, 19.10 punches in with a snappy beat and retro synth baseline that feels a little too overstated and off key to croon. As its layers builds the chemistry feels crowded and its proceeding 32.22 perhaps highlights where the experimentation doesn't yield. Its desolate fusion of dirty base rumblings and auto tuned voices crescendo without charm as its purpose seems to converge on volume. Its a gaudy, novelty track thats quite frankly grinding as its discernible voicing relents.

A couple songs later and the closing phase of the record finds some cohesion, experimentation calms and the chemistry heard on his previous effect can be heard again. The singing especially hits a smooth note as Danny's voice is presented without these manipulations heard earlier. It saves the record somewhat but overall I get a sense that the avenues to be different in production and composition just don't come together. Parts of it are very forgettable but a few songs hold up well too.

Favorite Tracks: 42.26, 47.48
Rating: 5/10