Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Two years since the controversial and chaotic “This Is America” and four years since his last album release “Awaken, My Love!” actor and songwriter Childish Gambino released his fourth studio album 3.15.20 initially on the date that the album was titled after on a website called donaldgloverpresents.com but was later taken down and re-released on streaming platforms a week later.
3.15.20 is different, different in the sense that it’s good, but not great like many may have wanted. The main factor for it not being great, is that the album is draining and exhausting; it’s longer than needed to be when it comes to only consisting of 12 tracks. The opening “0.00” feels more like an interlude than an opening track; ominous instrumental with only the lyrics “We are, we are, we are” for three minutes.
The next track, “Algorhythm” has more of a sci-fi tone, with static beats, dramatic bass, fast-paced tempo, and deep, distorted vocals. The chorus is what gets the head bopping, with Gambino’s vocals returning to normal to an uplifting beat; very Kanye West-like in “Stronger,” but subtler. “Time” continues the mythical and sci-fi trend with a mixture of acoustic guitar and hip-hop beats that features the lively voice of Ariana Grande.
The clever thing about 3.15.20 is the fact that each track is titled at the minute mark it takes place at. “12.38” features 21 Savage, Ink, and Khadji Bonet to a groovy R&B feel. “35.31” is more country than the rest of the album, setting an atmosphere for dancing as Gambino sings: “Little foot, big foot, get out the way.” The track “Feels Like Summer” but renamed as “42.26” is a song on the issues of the world to a dream-like melody with steady instrumentals and percussion.
3.15.20 is good; some of the songs are enjoyable, fun, and energetic. However, each song could’ve been cut in half, making it a quicker listen to rather than an exhaustingly long one.
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