“A collection of profound and epic album reviews and musical articles by former astronaut and brain surgeon, Alasdair Kennedy. Reaching levels of poetry that rival Keats and Blake, the following reviews affirm Alasdair to be a prodigy, a genius and a god whose opinion is always objectively right. He is also without a doubt the most modest man in the universe.” - Alasdair Kennedy
Review of "Because the Internet" by Childish Gambino
Childish Gambino is the hip hop stage name used
by American actor, writer and comedian, Donald Glover. Not to be confused with
Lethal Weapon actor, Danny Glover.
“Rap music? I’m too old for that shit.”
There seems to some confusion over whether Childish
Gambino is a character devised by Glover or just a guise to conceal the celebrity’s
true self. I will admit, it’s hard to connect with Gambino’s lyrics when you’re
not sure how “real” he is. This is how I see it: Actor, Donald Glover (not to
be confused with Danny Glover), has become a rapper taking on the stage name
Childish Gambino, in which he plays the persona of a rich kid who is in turn
pretending to be a kid from the ghetto. Have I got that right? Probably not.
Let’s put all identity issues aside and focus
on the music, because the music’s the important part. This second album sees
Glover getting a little less self-deprecating, overall creating a more fun
listening experience. The lyrical theme throughout the record seems to be “the internet”,
as the title “because the internet” suggests, with Glover filling each track
with plenty of witty computer-related references and wordplay. Glover’s
humorous and intelligent ability to play with language is just one of multiple
talents. He raps like a true pro and even has a pretty sweet singing voice,
altogether not too dissimilar in tone to that of Frank Ocean.
The smorgasbord of different flavoured beats
is without a doubt one of the album’s greatest highlights. From the jazzy
guitar arpeggios on “Shadows” to the bouncy synth chords on”3005” to the loopy,
murky bassline on “No Exit”, the album stays captivating. It can get almost
irritating how often Glover interrupts the flow of his verses and instrumentals
in order to chuck in a quick quip, a obscure sound or a choppy cut. At the same
time the jerky edits do add a certain aesthetic style to the album. Gambino
needs his own style, as at times the album can feel all a bit messy, as if
Glover is trying to throw too many ideas into the mix and they won’t all fit
without spilling over the sides.