Keeping us on our toes
Many artists that achieve success early on in their career with a specific sound tend to chase that same sound in their subsequent albums, trying to live up to the appeal of their former selves, but their music often ends up sounding contrived and loses its luster. Childish Gambino, the multifaceted artist and performer that he is, prefers not to rest on his laurels and give us another hip-hop album, and has instead released a straight up funk and soul album, Awaken, My Love!. “Redbone,” the second single released off of the December album, sees Childish depart from his signature monotone rap style and show off his surprisingly high pitched, sensual soul voice, straddling the line between the vocal styles of Anderson.Paak and Jordan Kelley of Cherub. Drawing influences from ‘70s funk/soul music, “Redbone” is a true, captivating slow jam, a rare find in today’s music scene. 
Reverbed synth chords pair with funky bass and pecks of glockenspiel to create an ambient background for the singer to belt out his cocoa butter lyrics about suspicions of infidelity. Roughly two thirds of the way through “Redbone,” the energy gets turned up a notch as bass and electric guitar-like synths take center stage and take the track in a funkier, more instrumental direction. The guy can write, direct, act, produce, rap, and, now, Childish Gambino has proved to us that he can bring soul music back from the dead. The only question is what’s next?