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Classic Album Review: Gorillaz | Gorillaz


This came out in 2001 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


We have virtual reality games and virtual movie stars, so why not virtual bands?

Gorillaz claim to be a cartoon quartet from London — but the truth is they’re an all-star collective led by Blur’s Damon Albarn, with musical contributions from Talking Heads Tina Weymouth and Chris Franz, rapper Del Tha Funkee Homosapien, Cibo Matto’s Miho Hatori, scratchmaster Kid Koala, producer Dan The Automator and more. Sound too good to be true? Well, sometimes it is. This debut album is certainly as eclectic and experimental as you’d expect from this crew — its 15 cuts run the musical gamut from woozy trip-hop to twangy reggae and punky garage-rock. And it has its share of infectious cuts. But frankly, a few too many tunes seem eclectic and experimental simply for their own sake, the work of musicians spending too much time twiddling knobs and fooling around in the studio and too little time writing songs. Maybe that explains the secret-identity trip: If you didn’t know about all the talent being squandered here, you might like it more.

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