Qui plume a, guerre a.
Because the Internet is not a very good album. These songs can’t stand on their own, but they aren’t meant to. Listening to the tracks again while reading the accompanying screenplay (click here) made things much clearer. It’s a solid story with clever allusions and metaphors. It blurs the lines between musical, performance and concept art. It is pretty ambitious in the way it explores the role of the internet and its effects on the human psyche. Because the Internet serves to confirm Donald Glover’s assertions that he did not quit Community to be a rapper. This album shows that he wanted more room to explore and grow as an artist.
However, this whole project is largely unaccessible. A lot of people aren’t going to get it, I know I didn’t at first. And even though now I do get it—i think—I am still wondering if this is really necessary? What’s the point of holding a mirror up to society if you try to obfuscate the reflection? The medium is getting in the way of the message, calling attention away from what Glover seems to be trying to convey. Yes, the connectivity of the internet isolates us, scatters our thoughts, makes us an island, but in discussing that disconnect, the seeming randomness of it all, there is an opportunity to explore common fears and anxieties. There was a chance for Childish Gambino to produce something with a greater impact. If it had been just and album or just a film, or just a show, it might have been stronger. He’s made it hard on the listeners, readers and viewers, and not in the good way, not in a way that instills interest, not in a way that rewards them with greater insight.
Eric Sundermann at Noisey has, what I consider to be, the best review of the album so far.
11 December 2013 · Comments