Article originally appeared on The Music 13th Dec 2016

If his work on the FX program Atlanta has shown anything, it’s that Donald Glover delights in defying expectation. Now, acting as Childish Gambino, it’s on display again – taking the roots of his earlier work on a surprising but enthralling trajectory. Much in the same way his show fuses magical realism with the absurd and high-human drama, so to does Awaken, My Love! fuse the best of some disparate elements into something far more, heading away from rap fundamentals and wandering closer to Zappa territory while wearing George Clinton’s soulful shoes. Full of howling passion and exemplary funk, this is not just some of Gambino’s best work, but some of the best out there.