Childish Gambino Delivers With A New Normal Soundtrack 3.15.20.
Childish Gambinodropping his new album 3.15.20 during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is undoubtedly needed and welcomed. For an artist that has always been slightly ahead of the curve, Childish Gambino delivered an ambitious, satisfying, and honest album. Those two traits are vital right now from our political and business leaders. But also from those in the entertainment industry. I cannot help but think, did Donald Glover know we will all be listening to his new album at home in isolation? Because it sounds lik e he read into the future and provided us with an appropriate soundtrack to our new normal.
With most new music, timing is everything. To be able to listen to the same new album alone in my apartment with others who are alone is comforting. It is a reminder that before all of this, life was also hard. The world was filled with anger and fear. However, we are all in this together. We dig 3.15.20 (you can listen below), but how did critics feel?
The Guaridan’s Dean Van Nguyen gave the album five stars and said, “The actor, comedian and musician Donald Glover has made the first truly outstanding album of the decade, offsetting cultural examinations with moments of sweet levity.” Van Nguyen went on to say, “It is an ambitious album that can turn from hedonism to hope on a dime. And with its genre-hopping ethos, bold orchestral choices and pleasing tunefulness, it is the first truly boundary-pushing record of the 2020s, cementing its creator as a daring virtuoso.” Full Review.
Los Angeles Times,Mikael Wood said, “There’s something oddly reassuring about these songs — not just “12.38,” a laidback R&B slow jam about a drug-addled sexual encounter, or the sweetly romantic “24.19,” but all 12 of them, even those in which Glover sounds close to overwhelmed by his many misgivings.” Wood went on to say, “Maybe it’s his strong melodies; maybe it’s the instrumental textures that invite you to get lost for a while. Or maybe it’s the idea that somebody else is scared too.” Full Review.
Pop Matters’Elisabeth Woronzoff said, “The true pleasure in watching Donald Glover evolve as an actor, musician, and cultural critic is anticipating his disruption of expectations. In each manifestation, and with each cultural contribution, Glover deliberately defies intention and probability. As Childish Gambino, the recent release 3.15.20 is an astute cultural examination of the current political and social situation while also avowing love and humanity.” Woronzoff went on to say, “3.15.20 captures the tumultuous contemporary moment. As society contends with sickness, anger, and fear, Glover remedies the malignancy while fueling the anguish. 3.15.20 signals an important shift for Childish Gambino and secures the album’s spot as one of the best of the year.” Full Review.
Frobes’ Byan Rolli called the album Glover’s “masterpiece.” He said, “After years of punching up, fighting for legitimacy and shuffling through a myriad of musical identities, Donald Glover finally sounds like he knows exactly what he wants out of Childish Gambino and how to achieve it. If he never revives the moniker again, he’s left listeners with a brilliant swan song.” Full Review.
NME’sSam Moore, who gave the album four stars said, “rap’s Renaissance man lets guard down with most personal record to date.” Moore went on to say, “Glover’s willingness to share such a candid moment on record is particularly interesting given his past proclivity towards keeping his private life largely offline, and may be a sign that the star is beginning to let his guard down as the outside world continues to try to peer in.” Full Review.
The Line of Best Fit’sRoss Horton said, “Beyond explorative, Childish Gambino’s stark warning of modernity is everything, and more.” Ross went on to say, “History will decide whether 3.15.20 gets the acclaim it deserves, especially considering how dark it can delve at points. But in the coming weeks and months, where the sensible people of the world do their best to isolate themselves and think about what’s important, it’ll be hard not to keep returning to 3.15.20, and letting Donald Glover amplify our fears for an hour, safe in the knowledge that things can always get worse.” Full Review.
Consequence of Sound’sOkla Jones said, “We can never be sure how far in advance Glover planned this release, but in this time of mass isolation, he’s managed to bring us all together for this shared experience of love, struggle, and acceptance. More importantly, Glover’s willingness to experiment with different sounds and harmonies is evidence that things either foreign or unknown need not be feared, but embraced. No, as in life, there’s beauty in uncertainty.” Full Review.