World famous music group Gorillaz are back with great new music in 2017 after a whopping 7 year hiatus.
Gorillaz are considered the world’s most successful virtual band, with music created by British singer Damon Albarn and animations by British artist Jamie Hewlett. Since 1999 they have worked together to create videos and music with a wide genre range including alternative rock, hip-hop, electronica, dub, and rap. Four cartoon band members, animated by Hewlett, are depicted playing Gorillaz’ music in their music videos and website. Some of their hits include “Clint Eastwood”, “On Melancholy Hill”, “DARE”, and 2005’s massively popular “Feel Good Inc”.
Their new album titled Humanz dropped April 28th, featuring a colossal 26 songs and over 30 collaborators. Compared to Gorillaz’ past sound, Humanz focuses more on rap, electronic, and dance songs to create what Albarn intended to be a “dark party album”. With lyrics fuelled by Albarn and Hewlett’s very left leaning political views, the general tone of the album’s subject matter is very dark and somewhat depressing (in reflection of President Trump’s election) but is hidden by catchy beats and lively guest rappers.
I personally am a big fan of the album, specifically songs like “Saturnz Barz” and “The Apprentice” that beautifully combine catchy synth melodies with Albarn’s timeless vocals and various talented rappers and guest vocalists. “Strobelite” featuring Peven Everett is a personal favorite that I just can’t help but tap my foot to. The album features short “interludes” after every two songs, which provide transition and give the record a rock-opera sort of feel. The overall sound, although much more homogenous than their past variation, is one that you can really easily get into.
While Humanz is by no means Gorillaz’ best work, it’s a welcome and exciting addition to the discography after 7 years of no music or art whatsoever.