By DONNA BALANCIA
Updated: Album and artwork has been removed from the site.
Donald Glover, formerly known as Childish Gambino, released a new album early Sunday through his website Donald Glover Presents. The 12-track collection, with apparently deliberately unfinished artwork, depicts buildings on fire and masses of people in the street.
The music was posted on Donald Glover Presents,(but it was removed several hours later).
DONALD GLOVER X ARIANA GRANDE pic.twitter.com/qG75lK05gn
— ER HEIGHTS (@erheights_) March 15, 2020
Perhaps also in the face of a pandemic, Glover — known for his world-challenging views — released the 12-track collection a bit early to capture listeners practicing “social distancing” at home. The album artwork is colorless and the rendering contains artist notations.
Fans have come to expect controversial and artistic work from Glover. His “This Is America” is an award-winning video that will be analyzed and interpreted for years to come.
If the listener can get past the unusual album cover, the music is a welcome reassurance to those looking for great new music with plenty of symbolism. One track, “Don’t Worry About Tomorrow – The Violence” is a slow-paced jazz-inspired track that uses the voice of a child, presumably Glover’s own son, who poignantly asks “Mom, do you love yourself?”
The album, while comprised of several modern synth-style arranged songs, has a very 1970s feel to it with a tip of the hat to Stevie Wonder. The artwork, with its lively characters bearing unique expressions has the feel of the artwork presented by the character “J.J.” on the TV show “Good Times,” but which in reality was mainly created by the late, great Ernie Barnes.
Rendering previously on Donald Glover Presents website: