I kind of fell off this whole blogging thing towards the end of 2016, but here I am ready to move forward with 2017. I’m not making any resolutions to blog more or anything, because I never stick with them, but I do feel like trying to get words out there more often for myself.
I find it appropriate to start the year off with the first track from Childish Gambino’s love letter to ’70s and ’80s era psychedelic funk, Awaken, My Love. There are a lot of different moods and feelings throughout this song, that mirrors a lot of the tumult I experience when looking back at the year that was. I feel like I had a great year in a lot of ways, I got a new job that afforded me a lot of freedom, financial stability, and lots of opportunity to travel. With it came a whole new set of challenges, though. My social life has taken a hit from working remotely, and I’m having to train and discipline myself to work better on my own.
I don’t want to focus on the bad things that happened this year. All of the deaths, elections, and general social progress taking several steps backwards have been written about ad nauseam by just about everyone.
Back to the song. This was the first single released from the album, and as Questlove put it on his Instagram review, it was like a sucker punch. I’ve been a fan of Donald Glover from Community, and I liked the first two Gambino records, although sometimes they were a little corny, a little too millennial, and sometimes he came off as a little too smug about how clever and witty he was. I still love Because the Internet, there are some great songs on that album, but this is something totally different. Coupled with Atlanta, I feel like Donald Glover has really put himself out there this year, and broken out of any expectations anyone had of him as a writer/producer/rapper/performer. I’m very excited to see where he moves from here.
As for the rest of Awaken, My Love, I still feel like the two singles are the strongest tracks on the album. Redbone is the jam, and I love the fact that he just embraces the Parliament/Funkadelic homage throughout the whole album. He runs the full gamut of fun funky jams, and more soulful intimate pieces. And then there’s California. This sounds like a Ween song I would skip. I like that he’s experimenting a bit, but it definitely kinda messes up the vibe of the album at that point.
My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Last time I heard it: Yesterday while gaming. I made a playlist of all my favorite 2016 albums that I’ve been shuffling while playing Forza Horizon 3. Makes great driving music 🙂
Also, while I’m not totally sure what it’s going to be just yet, I’ll be writing a bit more on my new blog at https://jacob.blog/
A more in depth moratorium on 2016 should pop up a little later today 🙂