The end of "Algorhythm" captures the zeitgeist perfectly: The second song on Donald Glover's new album ends with a cacophony of the disconnection. The sounds stutter and stop, it sounds like the self-chopping, slowly dying live chat with sluggish internet performance that many in the home office are experiencing several times a day. Radio interference, confusion, silence, reset.
With this order you could also overwrite "3.15.20", the fourth album of the(36, "Atlanta"), who released his music under the name Childish Gambino. At the latest since he released his bitter trap rap in May 2018 " released an inventory of violence in the reality of African-American life, which was also visually startling in the accompanying clip, the pop world was eagerly awaiting his next musical statement.
With "3.15.20", Glover is actually cementing its reputation as one of the most pop-culture-effective personalities not only of African America, but of the entire United States and beyond. As a cohesive stream, the album already haunted his past weekend, it was officially released on Sunday.
In contrast to "This Is America", "3.15.20" primarily and privately negotiates, but this also fits in with the times in which this spectacular album bursts unobtrusively without song names, artwork or other comments by the artist: in the prescribed or even chosen corona isolation, the private space becomes an echo chamber, in which relationships, the political and the philosophical, freely floating between the bookshelf, television and laptop.
Is the voice really real there on the computer?
Except for some warmed up oldies ("Imagine") and more or less witty verbal horns ("My, my, my, my Corona"), pop has not yet found any answers to the virus-related crisis. Donald Glover could now, intentionally or not, fill this vacuum. The British "Guardian" called his song collection, which could not be assigned to any musical genrealready "the first outstanding album of this decade".
In fact, in less than an hour, Glover succeeds in pairing in-depth cultural diagnostics with moments of uplifting ease. The album is an image of almost all states of mind of the individual torn from everyday life into uncertainty.
When the apartment converted into a home office becomes a literally unfamiliar space, when free society is confronted with unforeseen restrictions on movement and maintaining contacts, what dynamics then arise? "We are, we are, we are", Glover sings in the opening piece "0:00" to transcendental sounds in an alienated, modulated synthetic voice: "We are", yes, but in which parameters we still exist, so detached and on ourselves thrown back? Is the voice there on the computer, the person opposite in the video or conference chat really real?
Donald Glover: 03.15.20 – complete album
"Algorhythm", one of the few songs with a title, initially tears the listener out of this disembodied shock stasis with electronic basses and grooves that appear to be filtered through a membrane: "How do we know the truth without feeling what could be false ? "asks Glover in a falsetto voice and asks us to dance or do sports in the great outdoors to feel ourselves again (at least alone or with your loved one). The ubiquitous cell phones and computers in our hands make us guinea pigs and smombies anyway, what did we want to achieve with this constant supercomputer status? Instead of letting yourself be enslaved by the algorithm, you should Slave to the rhythm become: "Keep on moving, you might survive."
Orgasm and caveman inferno
"Time", the following R&B ballad withAs a guest singer, warm acoustic guitars flatter to plead for sensible use of the time until the impending apocalypse. For romance under the stars, for example. Or, back home, to cuddle and snuggle, which inevitably leads to the sexual act in the eight-minute climax of the provocative slow jam "24:19".
First Glover turtles and croons himself guttural into a love ecstasy ("I wanna say thank you / Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah / 'Cause I love you, ooh, yeah") until the song then fades out gently returns with blunt copulation sounds: heavy, faster breathing to padded beats, a short orgasm, then musical relaxation in an artificially reverberated environment that sounds like hermetic isolation. Just a moment ago you imagined yourself in the warming reality of romantic teasing, and you start to wonder whether all of this was not just a masturbation fantasy in front of the screen or in VR. Glover leads bedroomoul and sex radio role models as clever (and disturbing) as, omnipresent here, on the black ice of digital living environments.
Childish Gambino: Feels Like Summer
The heavy breathing becomes the paranoid panting in the next track "32:22": Again the voice is distorted, the beats are rubbery and sinister. "Fire, pick it up, pick it up / Pick it up, fire, fire, fire, hey, hey (woo)", Glover rushes into a caveman inferno, the onrugged "Yeezus" phase is remembered. The lowest, archaic impulses are reflected here, aggression translated into pop phantasmagorias: "Billie Jean is on fire, Billie Jean is on fire", ends this brutal centerpiece of the album – a milestone that also shows that it comes from Soul, R&B and Funk coming glover away from the icons of the genre – implicit – emancipated.
The Jackson 5 still in mind is the abruptly following "35:31" a cheerful counting rhyme to clap with, to which the kids romping around at home could be busy. Anger is followed by bliss – modern day-to-day life, and the current much more, is just a constant changing of emotions. And "03.15.20", which marks the date and the beginning of this strange time in the title, finally offers an interlinking finger snap flow for all mood swings, chains of associations, happiness, frustration and panic moments. That will bring us safely into summer.