The student news site of Ward Melville High School


The student news site of Ward Melville High School


The student news site of Ward Melville High School


Atavista: A Synth Pop, Experimental, Rap Hot Mess for Childish Gambino

Image Courtesy of Blaz Photo on Unsplash

Singer, actor and producer, Donald Glover, known widely as Childish Gambino, has released his fourth studio album, Atavista. 

Atavista is reminiscent of Glover’s second album ‘Because The Internet’ with its synth pop style and a lessened focus on his rapping. He lends his singing ability to this album in songs such as the title track Atavista and Human Sacrifice. Both are easy listening songs, which could easily climb the charts and become songs of the summer.

He also had incredible features on this album: Ariana Grande, who recently emerged from her music hiatus; Summer Walker, whose voice blends perfectly with Glover’s on Sweet Thang; and Young Nudy, 21 Savage, Ink, and Kadhja Bonet who bring the rap aspect of Childish Gambino that many love. 

Time (feat. Ariana Grande) was great and experimental in many ways, but also reminiscent of Grande’s frequent collaborator, The Weeknd.

Some songs were worse than others, such as Psilocybae (Millennial Love) (feat. 21 Savage, Ink and Kadhja Bonet) which lacked a chorus to pull listeners in. As one of only two rap songs on the album, the beat did not lend itself to a rap verse. Although 21 Savage rapped about his usual themes, it contrasted with the mundane synth track of the song. 

The other rap song, Little Foot Big Foot (feat. Young Nudy) has Target commercial potential, and sounds like it would belong on a generic summer playlist. 

It feels as though Childish Gambino wrote his pop album and threw in the occasional, haphazard rap verse. 

Among the unlistenable rap songs, Algorhythm and The Final Church are equally skippable pop tracks, despite attempting to make a discernible point with their musical choices. Algorhythm had distorted vocals and a semi-enjoyable chorus, but lacked any other redeemable qualities. Final Church tells a moving story about a boy straying from a religious path into using drugs and not being able to help his struggling family. Despite this, the harsh delivery of conversational lyrics is a stark contrast from the easy-listening vibe of the other songs. 

Prior to Atavista’s album release, Glover dropped select songs from the album with nondescript numerical title tracks on streaming platforms 4 years ago. Many fans were upset with the familiar content on this so-called new album. However, Glover has revealed that he will be releasing one final studio album as Childish Gambino in the foreseeable future.

His last album will also be the soundtrack for his new movie “Bando Stone in the New World,” following his work as a producer on his TV shows “Atlanta” and “Swarm.” After his music career comes to a close, he is set to further his career in filmmaking. 

Glover also announced his United States tour this year, with a stop in Brooklyn on August 26-27, as he is joined by singer and infamous ‘nepo baby’ Willow Smith. Although the artists’ fan bases likely align, that doesn’t excuses the unreasonably high ticket prices.  Amaarae, a relatively unknown artist, will also be touring with the pair.

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