So, after a long six-year hiatus, virtual band Gorillaz have made their triumphant return to the airwaves, and what a return it was.
After sending social media into a veritable frenzy with numerous teases and hints, creative force Damon Albarn announced the album’s name, Humanz, release date (28th April) and debuted four new tracks, along with Hallelujah Money, which was released just before the inauguration of a certain bad joke. As well as this, Humanz will also be performed in its entirety tomorrow night in London, thanks for the notice, Daz.
Now that you have the details, we can take a look at these four new tracks and I will force my opinions of them on you, DOESN’T THAT SOUND LIKE FUN?
Let’s kick off on a positive note, shall we, and start off with my favourite of the bunch, Andromeda:
From the absolute get-go, this track establishes an infectious, danceable beat, which, spoiler alert, doesn’t let up throughout the song, and has even the most stubborn experimental-art-pop listeners tapping their feet. The beat is complimented perfectly with the 90s-infused spacey melodies and excellent vocals from 2D and his backups. It’s a song that’s furiously addictive and a great example of the electronica Gorillaz do so well.
Next, in descending order, we have Ascension:
A complete departure from Andromeda, Ascension features the interesting lyrical stylings of Vince Staples on top of a hypnotic, euphoria-flavoured instrumental. Undoubtedly, Staples’ contribution is the focus point of the song, with his topical, obviously race-based lyrics and brash trap-style delivery instantly grabbing the attention of listeners. Much like Hallelujah Money, there is a sinister, topical air to this song, something, for me, Gorillaz does very well.
Now, we have the first single (w/video) off of the album, Saturnz Barz (Spirit House):
From the opening of this video, Gorillaz know they’ve been gone for a while and return with the same alternative humour we’d expect from the band. Musically, however, they seem to be taking a modernised approach, with guest vocalist Popcaan (my soul just died a little bit) providing a, sadly extremely bland, effect-heavy performance that really puts a bad spin on the rest of the song, which ain’t half bad. The bass-heavy instrumental is a big grower and 2D’s always laidback approach really balances out the badness from… Popcaan *shudders*.
Finally, we have the other one, We Got The Power:
There honestly isn’t much to say about this one. However, for me, it’s easily the worst of the bunch. It isn’t crap, by all means, it ain’t great, though. The repetitive hook and samey instrumental sadly outweigh the great beat and positive lyrics. That being said, at 2:19, it isn’t one to fret about, and is a pleasant little interlude.
Overall, very exciting news. With 3/4 of the new songs being a slice of alright, and the fact that Gorillaz aren’t dead, I write this post a very happy young man. Note of caution, some of these songs are major growers, so give them a good few gos before making your mind up. I, personally, am very happy I slept on this post, or we could’ve taken a negative turn here. If you’ve already heard them, or listenin’ to ’em now, I’d love to hear ya thoughts. I’ve done enough talking, I’ll leave ya with some links and bugger off:
Pre-order Humanz: DINGUS
Info (inc. full tracklist and features): DANGUS
Your new God: DONGLE
Lots of hugs, kisses and lacerations