Most of us get a little jumpy when singing-Gambino pops in. Maybe even a little misty-eyed…cause it’s such a treat.
Though sporadic an appearance it might be, the role always proves to be a soft and seamless conversion…even for the enigmatic and reserved Donald Glover, whose usual modus operandi is colored with luxuriant puns, double entendres, and tongue-in-cheek gloating.
It turns out that, as of late, the comedian-turned-rapper has been racking up quite the R&B-jam resume…but slowly and discreetly–almost so as not to rattle his ‘harder’-hip-hop fan base. Tracks from the past year, such as “3005”, “Centipede”, a wistful cover of PM Dawn’s “I’d Die Without You”, and countless singing-stints on Because the Internet (see: “Telegraph Ave.”) are distinct proof of the rapper’s draw to crooning, whether classified as such or not. And now with the drop of “Sober”–a woozy, 4-minute joint resounding with nothing but lovesickness, all intentions are clear.
“Now I’m so high…”, echoes a delirious Gambino over an equally dazed beat. Unlike most times, though, the influence is not herbal.
Nah…it’s love. And the usually overconfident rapper reveals the subsequent weakness for all to see, sans rapping.
While dream-pop synths are the main power source of “Sober”, Gambino’s persistent falsetto makes surrender to the track’s love-drunk radiation inexorable. The lulling, almost robotical beat attacks the brain while the lightheaded hook brainwashes us till we feel Glover’s own sense-dulling intoxication; “and now that it’s over, I’ll never be sober…”. Impassioned-Gambino has never sounded better.
Euphoria reaches its high at 2:47, and a brain-shaking bass drop breaks up the last chorus. (Very “Pyramids” by Frank Ocean). Signature George Benson instru-vocal scatting outros the track…and the ears live happily ever after.
The song is an early release from Childish Gambino’s upcoming project Kauai Side (which supposedly involves Jaden Smith). The ETA hasn’t been announced but you can follow @donaldglover via Twitter for details.