Gorillaz - Humanz
(Parlophone / Warner Bros.)
The Gorillaz M.O. from the moment of their inception has been to simultaneously celebrate and reject the zeitgeist that is pop culture. The project serves as a celebration of all that is now by teaming up with big names across a wide spread of musical styles with a sound that is contemporary and with a desire to insert themselves into the current conversation of musical relevance. At the same time, Gorillaz rejects the tradition of celebrity worship or artist iconography by living within what could be one of the only remaining myths alive and well in the contemporary cultural landscape; that the music you are hearing has been made by a quartet of apes. It is this myth that has allowed Gorillaz to be as adventurous and defiant as their discography has proven to be. However, the reality is that musical mastermind Damon Albarn and his compatriot, illustrator Jamie Hewlett, have together created a vessel to make whatever music they find interesting at any given point in time. Whether that is dub-reggae free-for-alls, progressive hip-hop tracks, sci-fi tinged electro soundscapes, or purely pleasurable pop music, anything is fair game when operating under the identity of Gorillaz.
Their latest album Humanz is packed with an all star cast as per the usual from Danny Brown to Mavis Staples, De La Soul, Pusha T, Grace Jones, and on and on and on.
What's exceptional about this album and about Gorillaz themselves is that the names of the contributors is meaningless in the sense that once Albarn and co. get their hands on these willing collaborators, they will be taken out of this world and transported into the universe of the Gorillaz. And what a wonderful universe it is. (Adam)
Check out a track here.