Childish Gambino’s 03.15.20 is a suspenseful, sometimes frightening sonic experience with heavy elements of existential uncertainty. But it ends on the reassuring note that there is love is to be found still under the sun. As for Childish Gambino himself, he is simply at his most unrestrained-artistic best throughout the project.
Childish Gambino, eight days ago, without heads-up or even official confirmation afterward, released what is presumed by many to be his fourth studio album. He did so exclusively on a personal website in an unusual, inconvenient format. When fans clicked the link to the website, the only information they found, “Donald Glover Presents”. And of course, music which only played in a continuous loop. No tracklist or guest features were available on the website. Just restricted access to looped music.
The conditions of the initial release were hostile enough to have people doubt the authenticity of the project. And the fact that Donald Glover’s manager, Fam Udeorj, who made the link to the project available deleted his Twitter shortly after didn’t help with such speculations either.
Some days later, it has now been now available on all major streaming platforms. Even though we are yet to receive official word of its arrival. The only adjustment that has now been made is the inclusion of an odd tracklist. The tracklists are a stream of numbers indicating the exact start time of each song on the album. Fans, though, have claimed that they recognize some of this oddly titled tracks as songs that were exclusively played during Childish Gambino’s This is America tour.
Childish Gambino 03.15.20 Album Review
00:00 opens with a sharp beep which then transforms into a long, suspenseful monotone. It is a fitting intro for what comes next, Algorhythm– a dark introspection on the adverse effect of the black and white nature of our cyber dominated world. But Bino dreams in colors and refuses to succumb to the socially devouring schemes of a world ruled by supercomputers. “Time” is a duet with Ariana Grande about the existential uncertainty. Glover continues to make pleasant, riveting sonic experiments the star of 03.15.20. While his own vocal contributions, guest stars, and impressive falsettos serve as formidable support.
19:10 touches on coming to grips with the realization that balance is the backbone of the universe. And that life is really a cycle of “give and take”, and it isn’t a necessarily pleasant cycle. As he goes on to say, “to be beautiful is to be haunted”. 42:26(Feels like summer) is the only official single off the project. Bino draws the curtain on 53.49 injecting hope where he might have left an apprehensive mark on his listener.
Album Review: 7.0/10
Standout tracks: 32.22, Algorhythm
Listen to 03.15.20 0n Apple music Here