- by paul_guyet Release Date:2017-04-28 Label: Parlophone Records Limited
There’s never been a band like Gorillaz, and we’re lucky that Damon Albarn ever got together with Jamie Hewlett and decided to do this thing. Over the past sixteen years, we’ve gotten some of the best music to ever come from a fictional, animated band that was sort of formed as a joke. Albarn has taken his specific brand of musical genius and applied it to collaboration and the results have been spectacular. Gorillaz is one of my favorite bands…the band, not the music. I love a lot of the music, but it’s the weird chemistry and world in which 2D, Murdoc, Noodle, and Russel exist that drew me in and their continued misadventures that keep me there. All that said: why couldn’t we have gotten an entire album in the vein of ‘Do Ya Thing’? Juicy verses from 2D, an amazing performance from James Murphy, and Andre 3000, one of the best modern rappers to ever enter the game. WHY CAN’T I EVER BE HAPPY?
If I’m being 100% honest with myself and you: I love ‘Charger’, 2D’s bits in ‘Saturnz Barz’, and that’s it. I’ve got a weird standard when it comes to Gorillaz though, so ignore me. Humanz is a dark and varied album, portentous and rich. I’d have enjoyed more pure Gorillaz tracks as opposed to what’s on offer, but, again, ignore me. Some tracks are fun and dance-y, like ‘Andromeda’, ’Strobelite’, and ‘Momentz’*, some range from spooky to downright sinister like ‘Carnival’, ‘Hallelujah Money’, and ’Sex Murder Party’**, and some left virtually no impression on me like ‘Let Me Out’, ’She’s My Collar’ and ’Submission’***. Almost all of the bonus tracks on the second disc should have been swapped out for tracks on the LP, specifically ‘Out of Body’ (Kilo Kish’s vocals are small and solemn and unique), ’The Apprentice’, and ’Ticker Tape’, which feels to me like Gorillaz doing a mellow Prince song.
Here’s the catch: whatever you or I or anyone thinks of Humanz, that’s all we’re getting from Gorillaz for…I don’t know…five years? Seven? Luckily for people who aren’t me, it’s an extremely good album which is going to more than satisfy almost everyone who gives it a spin. Plus, we have their world tour and new batch of videos to look forward to. And, apparently, a TV show. And, again, I’ll always have Demon Days...
* Nowhere near as catchy as their other collaborations with De La Soul
** Which could be a Flight of the Conchords songs, albeit a dark, weird one
*** Danny Brown’s voice makes me want to die forever...he's like a redneck rapper. Ugh.