Gorillaz - Humanz (Super Deluxe Edition)

by paul_guyet Rating:7 Release Date:2017-12-08
Gorillaz - Humanz (Super Deluxe Edition)
Gorillaz - Humanz (Super Deluxe Edition)

Why do people purchase "deluxe" or "super deluxe" or "bonus" or other such named "enhanced" versions of albums? For extra artwork? Unique packaging? More songs? For the sheer exclusivity of it? For me, depending on the band, it's for unreleased/extra music first, then artwork, and only if I really dig said artwork. So when Gorillaz, a band for which the artwork is as important as the music, maybe moreso, announced their new album Humanz a mere month before its release, I went all out; I purchased the two-CD version which featured six tracks not on the standard CD and pre-ordered the "Super Deluxe" version which boasted fourteen new tracks. Between that bonus CD and the SD version, that doubled the tracks on the standard album. After months of delay, I received my SD package earlier this month and sat down with it over the weekend.

Included in the Super Deluxe edition of Humanz is an art book featuring the Instagram posts from earlier this year which detailed the Gorillaz' path from Plastic Beach to Humanz, some scribbled-on lyric sheets, and unseen art from Jamie Hewlett, and fourteen separate records, each a unique color, each in its own sleeve, the a-side containing the album's twenty tracks and the b-side sporting a new, unreleased track. The book and records all come in a huge, faux leather case adorned with lightning bolts. I'll get right to it: while a handful of the bonus tracks are interesting (namely "Colombians" which sounds like something from Goat Simulator, "Midnite Float", and an alternate, D.R.A.M.-centric version of "Andromeda") most are forgettable instrumentals and foreign language versions of LP tracks.

Now the question: was it worth it? The package was over $350 with shipping and took eight months to arrive. Everything in it is beautiful and well-crafted, although the tracks are mostly Gorillaz-official-website-background-music quality. Would I have been happy with just the standard LP? I'm not a theoretical physicist so I really can't answer that. I'm going to say no though, as I am a completionist and when it comes to Gorillaz, the narrative is important to me, so any new music/images could mean more insight into this non-existent band. For a normal person though? They probably don't even know about this, and is that a bad thing? Digital vs vinyl. Collecting vs minimalism. Each record has only two songs. Arguably, the only less practical way to present this album would be to have twenty-eight one-sided records. Is it necessary. Ooh. There's a phrase you don't hear a lot in conjunction with these special releases. But, then again, it's "super deluxe", what's "necessary" about something labeled as "super deluxe"?


Did you know there's a Grammy award for packaging? Look it up. Nine Inch Nails was nominated in 2008 for Ghosts I-IV and Reznor, Ross, and Rob Sheridan in 2012 for their The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo score packaging. They were nominated for "Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition". THERE'S A GRAMMY AWARD FOR PACKAGING.

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