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“Awaken, My Love!” : Better With Every Play

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Donald Glover is one of my favorite artists, period. With his contributions to music from the contemporary rap album, “Camp,” and the witty , “Because the Internet,” Glover will always have a special place in my personal music hall of fame. Glover is one of the most versatile artists who never feels compelled to work within one genre. As pop culture has begun to oversaturate the music industry, Glover’s work continues to break through music norms by adding funk and diversity to his art.

Glover’s most recent album that was released in December 2016,”Awaken My Love!”, is no exception to his wide range of craft. Glover’s departure from rap into a more indie feel is absolutely amazing. It does not come off as over manufactured like Bruno Mars’ newest album, “24K Magic”, or some more modern works of The Weeknd. My personal favorite track has to be “Baby Boy,” or “Boogieman,” which are both ballads about the struggle of Glover’s life. Despite the fact that I have switched entirely to the electronic streaming website known as Spotify, I enjoyed the album so much that I purchased it on physical vinyl as well. Glover has released such a brilliant album that I constructed a musical format, just so I can hear it more in a perfect sequence.

“Awaken, My Love!” has 11 tracks. My order of personal enjoyment starts with “Baby Boy,” then travels to “Boogieman,” “Stand Tall,” “Me and Your Mama,” “Redbone,” “Have Some Love,” “Zombies,” “Terrified,” “The Night Me and Your Mama Met,” “Riot,” and “California.” Now, my order of songs does not exclude the others on the album because I think that everything from”The Night Me and Your Mama Met” down was bad, but my justification is that while “The Night Me and Your Mama Met” was good, it was just an instrumental. “Riot” felt like it could have used more time to develop. And personally, I thought “California” was just bland and unmemorable.  “California” is nothing but a cheap, mass produced pop track, which I hope is Glover’s one parody track that he includes on each of his albums. I found that “California” was a cliche, where Glover’s accent is so repugnant and the lyrics are typical, common verses. I believe that “Awaken, My Love!” would have been able to win a Grammy, had it not been for “California.”

Besides bashing “California,” I still found that the rest of the album was well written and creative. The beginning tracks were more alternative sounding with both “Me and Your Mama” and “Have Some Love”, transitioning the album from a dark sound into more contemplative beats. Heading into “Boogieman” and “Zombies”, Glover speaks on political issues such as racism and plastic friendships, which are controversial subjects that Glover tends to successfully voice his opinion about.

Next, Glover goes into story telling mode where the rest of the album tells an anecdote of Glover’s thoughts. From “Riot” to “Terrified”, Glover expresses deep feelings of longing. I really thought the album was centered around this idea. I felt that “Awaken, My Love!” is about Glover maturing as an artist. The last few tracks, which are some of my favorite songs of 2016, are about his son and his life as a child. It embedded the essence of innocence and the emotion surrounding both childhood and fatherhood, and that is why “Awaken, My Love!” deserves praise. The album was not a cash grab, it is a piece of art. It is the growth of Glover from the rich spoiled kid in “Because the Internet” into a more fatherly character in “Awaken, My Love!” Glover shows a lot of promise in the future, and even though it is too late for Grammy nomination, it would be a shame if Glover does not win an award in his lifetime.

With the evolution of Glover’s lyrics and beats in this album, I would definitely place it in my good books of 2016. I strongly encourage everyone reading this article to listen to the album.

I will be adjusting my score according to a couple things. The first thing is that I am quite biased when it comes to Glover. I love all of his work, including his comedy, and always praise whatever he does, so I will have to give him a lower score. Another aspect is that listeners must let “Awaken, My Love!” grow on them. Tracks like “Boogieman” may not immediately take a liking, but after listening multiple times, I think listeners will start to love it. Lastly, “California” and “Riot” were two underdeveloped messes that could have used a couple more weeks in production. In conclusion, I will be giving the album a 7/10, and I think people should really give “Awaken, My Love!” a listen.

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“Awaken, My Love!” : Better With Every Play