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Album Review: 3.15.20 by Childish Gambino

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Donald Glover, better known as his stage name, Childish Gambino, comes out with his fourth studio album titled 3.15.20. While this album has been hinted at for a while, this is four years after his previous album, "Awaken, My Love!" Except for two tracks, all of the track names refer to what time they are played during the album. So the first track, 0.00, appears at the very beginning of the album.

As stated above, the first track off the album is 0.00. The track starts off with a short beep noise, but another drone noise comes in shortly after. The lyrics, "We are, we are, we are" are repeated throughout the track. They are reverbed and washed out heavily to give a futuristic sound. This is a very interesting ambient/experimental track to start off with so I knew this album was going to be different and entertaining. It almost sounds as if it was an Animal Collective track.

The second track and first track without a timestamp is Algorhythm. This is your regular hip hop track with some electronic-like features. When Donald Glover raps, it seems like he is altering his voice with electronic elements. You can definitely hear it at the start of the second verse where he starts with, "step, step, slide, slide."

The third track and the last track with a title is Time. It starts off with some sliding electronic notes until a guitar comes in with his soothing singing voice. We also have an unaccredited Ariana Grande feature in here with her own verses and backing vocals. As you could guess from the title, the concept of this track is about time itself and how some people are running out of time to fulfill certain things.

My personal favorite track off of the album is 12.38. The beat is such a simplistic, synth beat, but it's catchy. Childish Gambino talks about the night he is going to have with this girl. She convinces him to take this drug but he is uncertain of what it actually is. 21 Savage also makes an appearance on this track and gets his own verse.

After that, we have 19.10. It's a smooth soul/R&B type track with Childish Gambino singing over the track. The first verse has Donald Glover's father talking to him about how he is special, but the world might not view that the same way. He's referring to how some people view race in our society. The chorus of the track talks about self-love and black beauty in society. The last minute of the track morphs into an experimental type bit with random noise.

24.19 is somewhat reminiscent to his 2016 hit track, Redbone, except in a different key. It features the same elements of gospel and soul that "Awaken, My Love!" had. All of a sudden, during the last two minutes, the tone of the track changes with just the harmonies of the chorus. Eventually, you have a drumbeat which probably represents this person's heartbeat since you have the sound of a person freaking out.

The last track transitions perfectly into 32.22. I know not too many people are fond of this track, but I actually enjoy it. It opens up with a pounding electronic bass sound. It's a hard-hitting track which features an almost non-human like voice singing for most of it. This is definitely one of Childish Gambino's most experimental tracks on this album. The end of the track ends with some farm animals making noise, like chickens and some cows.

Next, we have a complete 180 with 35.31. People have nicknamed this track Little Foot, Big Foot, Get Out The Way. That's a reference to the lyrics that are repeated several times on this track. The first half of the track starts with a happy and upbeat guitar sound. Towards the end, you have Childish Gambino rapping the lyrics to a trap-inspired beat. The track ends with a reversed passage from the next track on the album.

After that, we come to 39.28. The track opens up with Childish Gambino singing in an acapella manner with several layers of him singing. It's a cool nifty track, but I think it could be forgotten easily since it's one of the shorter tracks on this album. There's not much going for it instrumentally.

Next, we have 42.26 which was previously released as Feels Like Summer. While it does feel like a nice summertime vibe track, Childish Gambino talks about some issues in our world on this track. Some of the issues include climate change and air pollution. Towards the end of the track, he says he's hoping that the world will change and we can fix the mistakes.

47.48 focuses on a heavy topic in society, violence. With social media playing a huge role in society, bullying has taken full force online. Even though some people think they're playing around, it can really tear some people apart, which you can see in the first verse of the track. Donald Glover features his first child, Legend Glover, towards the end of the track. They have a conversation about who they love and loving yourself.

The last track we have on the album 53.49. It starts off with some aggressive singing/rapping from Donald Glover. I almost thought it was Anderson .Paak at first. One thing I thought was clever is that the album opened up with an electronic note, and the album actually ended with a slightly lower pitch sound being played.

There are some great tracks and also some forgetful tracks. If he is truly retiring the Childish Gambino name, it would be an interesting, but not fulfilling album. He does incorporate elements from his previous albums, but this album is too much "out there."
Overall Rating: 6/10
Favorite Tracks: 12.38, 19.10, 32.22, 47.48

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