"Awaken, My Love!"

Childish Gambino - "Awaken, My Love!"
Critic Score
Based on 30 reviews
2016 Ratings: #203 / 916
User Score
2016 Ratings: #71
Liked by 55 people
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A.V. Club

What The Life Of Pablo was trying for with gospel, “Awaken, My Love!” has succeeded at with funk and soul. It is not an antique car with a new paint job, but the redesigned Challenger, a work of modern design that’s damn proud of its heritage, and it offers a beautiful ride.


Almost every song on Awaken is a soulful, vintage delight — with the exception of "California," an infuriating interruption to an otherwise cohesive project.

The 405
Glover has delivered an inter-generational, retro-futuristic 11-track history lesson on the healing and inspiring qualities of funk.
The Line of Best Fit

A powerful, socially aware album, but one with, slack funk basslines, licks, squeals, and knods to the greats.

The Guardian

Glover has a keen ear for genre idiosyncrasies and Awaken, My Love is full of tiny rewarding details: the pinched surf guitar of California; the squalling organ blasts of the Parliament-Funkadelic-ish Riot.


Colourful, brilliantly messy, and a fully committed hodge-podge of psych and spacecake croons, ‘Awaken, My Love!’ is unlikely to shed further light on exactly what Childish Gambino is at heart, but by now, Glover’s erratic approach is surely part of his central appeal.

We’ve not had much to cheer for this year but it looks like Childish Gambino is offering a light at the end of the tunnel.

Childish Gambino gets definite props for pushing the envelope and refusing to operate within any genre confinements on this refreshing 49-minute trip through the funkadelic 1970s. While these blurred lines make this album a little hard to follow, “Awaken, My Love!” proves his versatility as a rapper turning over a new leaf.

It's true that the album owes a deep debt to the sounds that inspired it, but there are times when the music, voices, and words come together to make something that sounds owned by Childish Gambino alone.

Glover should be lauded as an envoy of music’s past, here to deliver the gospel of the funk and soul greats to the kids, instead of more millennial hip-hop malarkey.


Without question, Awaken, My Love! serves as a greenhouse for vibes as the album transitions from one tenured music hybrid to the next, often without so much as a crescendoed buildup.

Consequence of Sound

“Awaken, My Love!” carries the same visceral strength of Atlanta, the same anxiety, fear, passion, love, and beauty in massive doses.


“Awaken, My Love!” is his hardest left turn yet, ditching rap wholesale in favor of funk worship, and the result is his most enjoyable project to date. In paying homage to heroes, he even hits upon some of the genuine emotional connection that has often been missing from his music.

Rolling Stone

Only time will tell if Childish Gambino has remade himself into the post-millennial D'Angelo. But for now, "Awaken, My Love!" is an enthralling trip into the land of funk.


On the whole, Awaken, My Love! is a pronounced departure from Glover’s Childish Gambino persona—and a welcome one at that.

The Needle Drop

Childish Gambino carves his own niche in the recent wave of vintage soul revivalism with Awaken, My Love!

Under The Radar

Simply put, for all of its creative pomposity, "Awaken, My Love!" isn't any better than Because the Internet, a solidly impressive record that brought Glover as close to bona fide in the rap community as possible.

Drowned in Sound
What we get is an interesting departure from his usual work, but not interesting enough to create the eternal music that he is talented enough to execute.
Slant Magazine

A maddening ride with an authenticity problem, Awaken, My Love! finds Glover confusing his idols for muses.

Pretty Much Amazing
It’s simultaneously daunting, exhausting, terrifying, all at the same time. It’s all a lot to take in, with not a whole lot of the Gambino we are familiar with to help wash it down.

Does anyone else think Donald (with enough time and focus) could make a brilliant album from the 2020's... I mean like... REALLY brilliant?

Like To Pimp A Butterfly? Or Kids See Ghosts?

Lol. I do.
Daily October Horror


Awaken my Love is what I imagine dying alone feels like. Cold, empty, delusional. Commonly known as the only "great" Childish Gambino album, Awaken My Love is super important. I remember going through Gambino's LPs waiting for the moment it started to get truly good and from the first minute of Awaken My Love, I knew "oh yeah, this is it."

Even without the obviously horror connections like Get Out, this is still a terrifying sounding album. Its ... read more
"Awaken, My Love!" is such a sexy-ass record! It's a departure from the usual hip-hop belongings of Donald Glover and goes into a full-out psychedelic soul sound. It is handled magnificently here, with the cover going perfectly with the gorgeous, spacious, dreamy production of this record. The lyrics go full-on personal here, with the introduction of his baby boy coming first on this record. It's heartfelt, it's beautiful, it's Donald coming out of his comfort zone and the result is ... read more
Donald's departure from Hip Hop is surprisingly a rewarding one. A really damn good neo soul album which is always charming and unexpectedly touching as this record is a story of love and fatherhood.

Best Track: Redbone
Worst Track: Zombies
Never would have thought Gambino would come through with an album like this, quite a huge departure from hip-hop but it's one that I thoroughly enjoyed. Sure it's a little messy, but I've found it to be a very interesting and likeable musical experience. Big props to Donald for really stepping outside of his comfort zone on this one to create something that I consider to be really memorable and tasteful. Whilst quite a few of these tracks are pretty underwritten, it's still a very enjoyable LP ... read more
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Track List

  1. Me and Your Mama
  2. Have Some Love
  3. Boogieman
  4. Zombies
  5. Riot
  6. Redbone
  7. California
  8. Terrified
  9. Baby Boy
  10. The Night Me and Your Mama Met
  11. Stand Tall
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Added on: November 7, 2016