Lock the door, get comfortable, kill the lights (maybe not?), play Donald Glover’s latest album 3.15.20 (not on shuffle!), close your eyes, and ride that euphoric tide of deep listening.
As the album title would suggest, Donald Glover had originally released the album on March 15th, 2020 and played the album in a continuous stream, removing it later that same day. The original album was streamed through its very own website donaldgloverpresents.com. A week later when it was released as a full-length album track-by-track on all streaming platforms, a lot of the tracks lost its original titles and were instead replaced with titles like “0.0” and “24.19” to depict the timestamps of each song in the entirety of the album probably to encourage full-album listening.
If you’ll stream the entire album all at once which, if it’s not clear by now, we highly encourage you do, you’ll notice that not one song is independent of the other literally because each end is the next song’s beginning. The only one with an actual silence, in the end, is the last track and the only one with an actual silence to begin it is the first track. Each track also breaks the average-of-3-minutes-per-song-rule as each of the tracks on the album averages at 5-6 minutes in duration. 3.15.20 is, to say the least, a very atypical full-length album but should we really expect less from Childish Gambino, the very epitome of atypical as true artists are.
Great Creations Marinate
Most of what we consider masterpieces of their respective artists take time and the ideas don’t come all at once. Masterpieces never come at the start of a person’s career simply because it is expected to be a cultivation of everything the artist has been through in all his years as an artist.
This album alone was 10 years in the making. Even as Donald Glover, under his Childish Gambino persona, released one of the greatest hits known to man, Red Bone, or the multi-Grammy-awarded, This is America, you always just get this lingering feeling that there’s something more he can do–that he hasn’t reached his full potential yet.
When you listen to this album and find that same feeling revisiting you again, as you dive deeper in this kaleidoscopic trench of an album, you quickly see that the feeling fades fast and will surely never visit again as this album cements itself as the categorical amalgamation of all the music genres Childish Gambino has explored. Many think that’s why, at least for the album name, he felt like his creation, Childish has reached the pinnacle of his artistry and forgoes the famous moniker so instead you’ll find his real name–Donald Glover Presents. You didn’t notice that did you?
Familiar Yet Strange
Every song in this album give-off a certain aspect of the multi-hyphenated artist who has one of the most dynamic genre ranges in music. Songs like “Time” a beautiful duet track with Ariana Grande and “19.20” which is more similar to some of Glover’s pop songs, and tracks like Algorhythm, which is literally familiar as a Childish Gambino Live staple, as well as “42.26” which starts off with some weird ambient cooing and then transitions into last year’s well-loved release, Feels Like Summer. He’ll remind you of his crooner side with tracks like “24.19” and then pull you back to his This Is America track with familiar bars but even punchier raps in the tracks “12.38” and “53.49”. Then cools you down to remind you of his stripped-down versions with “47.48” which adorably features his little boy, Legend.
Lots of feelings for fans of Childish Gambino indeed but more than sounding like same old Childish, Glover manages to amp up all aspects of the persona in the best way, putting forward the best he’s got but not in a boasting manner, quite the contrary, Donald Glover makes you feel how hard he worked on this, putting forth the very best aspects of himself all for your listening pleasure.
Just In Time
This may not be the most ideal time for anyone which is absolutely why we think this album came just in time. In a time when we feel less human, holed up in our homes, uncertain of what the future holds for humanity. Donald Glover in his most poetic self he has ever presented in front of everyone offers comfort and consolation in these very trying times. Discussing existence, self-love, identity, passage of time, and cultural struggles, Glover through his music and every fiber of life therein, imbibes in us great life–ultimately hope.
So let us all together seize the future we would like for ourselves, strive to better our society in the reflections we have noted in these trying times and still make time to experience “love in every moment under the sun” to quote the final track in the album. Which, once again if we haven’t bugged you about it enough, you should go and stream now!
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