This is the surprise 4th full-length album from California rapper, singer, DJ, actor, comedian, producer & director Childish Gambino a.k.a. Donald Glover. His 2011 debut album Camp was pretty mediocre, but he would show his artistic growth on his next 2 projects R O Y A L T Y & Because of the Internet. Last time we heard from Donald in a full-length capacity was in 2016 with “Awaken, My Love!”, which was an awesome throwback to the days of Parliament-Funkadelic. But after leaking 3.15.20 on his website in it’s entirety just a week ago, he’s now officially putting it out on all streaming services.
After the almost ambient like “0.00” intro, the first song “Algorythm” finds Donald talks about partying over an enticing instrumental co-produced by DJ Dahi. The track “Time” with Sarah Aarons sees the 2 talking about how life is moving fast over a synth-heavy instrumental while the song “Vibrate” gets romantic over a Neptunes inspired instrumental that’s actually pretty great & the 21 Savage verse that actually compliments the track more than I thought it would. However, it didn’t need to be 6 & a half minutes long. The track “19.10” talks about what it is to be beautiful over an industrial instrumental while the song “24.19” gets flirtatious over a shimmery instrumental.
The track “32.22” finds Donald whispering & then singing in auto-tune over an instrumental kin to Kanye West’s Yeezus while the song “35.31” tells the story of a young drug dealer over a country-inspired instrumental. The track “39.28” is just Donald harmoniously singing a capella while the song “Feels Like Summer” still doesn’t quite live up to it’s name both lyrically & instrumentally. while the track “47.48” talks about how cruel the world can be over a funky instrumental & then the album ends with song “53.49”, where Donald talks about finding love over a euphoric instrumental.
If this is truly the last Gambino album like he’s been saying over the past few years, then I’m not mad because it’s his most esoteric body of work to date. I can see why some other people may not like it because of how weird it can be but I like the eclectic production & his vocals have continued to get better over time.