Single Review – Childish Gambino – This Is America

The multi-talented Donald Glover returned with the first new material since Awaken, My Love from 2016; an album which saw him tilt his style towards a more vocal based, soulful direction. With his new single ‘This is America’ this only forms a small part of a multi-faceted arrangement taking in elements of Soul, Pop, Rap and switching styles throughout. The lyrics along with the excellent video transcend many issues in a bold fashion, but treats others with subtlety. Glover’s approach ensures you have to take in the harsh truths he details whilst enjoying the music; both are entwined to the point you can’t ignore the content and the musical shifts and changes signpost this brilliantly. Whether it’s mass shootings, the worship of gun culture, the targeting of the African American communities by law enforcement or the general apocalyptic images he paints, the message is the same; This is America. It is a true example of free speech so coveted in America and a work of art beyond it. You can’t ignore it for it’s not just another form of entertainment, it’s a statement.

Owen Riddle

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