Album Review- Childish Gambino- Camp

So there are a lot of new young hipster type artists coming out and many are in more of the Kanye West non-thug model and thats a good thing to have something new and different. Childish Gambino is the alter ego of actor Donald Glover who stars on NBC's Community as Troy. The image of Troy is one thats odd when you listen to the album because Camp is much more serious than his TV character. After dropping a solid EP he is now releasing his official debut- Camp.

"Outside" is the first track on the album and it has an orchestral sound but Childish drops some seriously touching lyrics without sounding sappy, this is what J.Cole was trying to do as he recounts the details of his life as someone who was always slightly different from everyone else. Little details like "Playing with the land before time toys from Pizza Hut" are incredibly touching and easy to relate to. "Firefly" is a shot to those who doubted Donald but he doesn't leave it in the general sense like Big Sean, he tells because of his tendencies to seem more like a white kid compared to the general hood caricature. The track for "Bonfire" is extremely energetic and in the style of recent songs like "6'7" and he just goes in throwing out random bars.

Childish continues trying to explain himself on "All the Shine" where he talks about having fun and trying to be himself and explain the behavior he has now. He has a short interlude/song in "Letter Home" where he sings to a love he left back home. Meanwhile "Heartbeat" has a pop backdrop with heavy thumping bass which is about a relationship between Childish and a woman he used to be with but that isn't quite over, at least not sexually. The mood immediately changes as Glover takes on "Backpackers" because it seems he isn't really accepted in the normal underground circles.

His bread and butter for the album is about how he doesn't fit in with the general black community nor the white community because in the end he still is black, and he explains that further and in a slightly different twist on "Hold You Down". on "Kids (Keep Up)" He talks about how he would treat a woman different if he could go back in the past, and the hook juxtaposes with the verses nicely. "L.E.S." is bragging about the kind of chicks he can get now. "You See Me" is more of the same thing only a general bragging track that I could do without. "Sunrise" is about how he is on something new compared to other people out. The final song, "That Power" is a solid way to end the album.

Overall Donald Glover proves he is more than just a niche act with a superlative album that is better than most of the major label albums that were just released. J.Cole, Drake, Big Sean, and Kid Cudi could all take notes from this release in how to bring new topics, lyrics, and emotions to a track without overdoing one aspect. The album is solid and cohesive with strong production that is varied, yet doesn't throw you for huge loops by something odd happening. The only thing that might be a problem is the constant fish out of water rap, but he seemed to keep a decent variety of approaches to it by giving a different setting on each song. His singing is decent and the ending monologue is a work of art itself.

Rating: 4/5


  1. I'm obsessed with Gambino's track "Shadows"


Post a Comment

Popular Posts