Gorillaz: Quickfire Album Reviews

The Gorillaz


The Gorillaz

John Escareno, Co-Editor

Recently, you may have heard of the band Gorillaz. Or maybe you know who they are, heard their music, or seen their music videos. From 1999, the Gorillaz have been given interview after interview, and sponsorship after sponsorship. While we’re mainly going to focus on their albums, a few fun facts will be dropped throughout the article.

Before we start, to those who are new, who ARE the Gorillaz? There are two sides, really. The animated band, and the real one. The real one is easier to describe, so we’ll start there. The band who actually performs live on stage consists of Damon Albarn, Jeff Wooten, James Ford, Mike Smith, and a plethora of others. From drummers to backup singers, the stage tends to be packed during Gorillaz performances. While there are a ton of members in the live band, the animated one is much more compact. For a live performance clip, click the link below.


Consisting of four members: 2D, Murdoc, Noodle, and Russel, the animated band is much smaller. 2D is typically on vocals, Murdoc on the bass, Noodle on guitar, and Russel on drums. To see them in action, I suggest you watch this video:


While the lore of the band is heavier than most, it’s considerable filled wit plot holes, so we won’t be covering it (just read Rise of The Ogre if you really care that much!). Now, onto the reviews themselves starting with….

Gorillaz (AKA Self-Titled album)

The self titled album is a very testy one. It mainly consists of rock and roll songs like 5/4 and M1A1, but also has some rap in it, like Clint Eastwood. The complete album has many moods throughout, but is typically either somber or manically screaming to you. While the album itself has explicit content, most of the songs are children friendly. Songs like Slow Country and Starshine are so calm but yet so very active at the same time. These songs tend to have a whole atmosphere to them. While you can really praise this debut album, there’s a song that not only dedicated fans dislike, but most music lovers in general.

The Clint Eastwood “Refix” featuring Ed Case and Sweetie Irie has become something of a stain on the Gorillaz history. Being the most hated song on the album, the Refix gives off a techno-reggae vibe that honestly doesn’t mix well. And the constant “unh unhs” take away from the song. It’s truly something “out there.” Weird fact, Phi Life Cipher were supposed to appear on Clint Eastwood, but were canned. They can actually still be heard in commercials and ads for the album.

While the album has a few drops, it’s overall an amazing debut album for Damon Albarn and his group of misfits, even if some aren’t real.


Demon Days

Also known as the “god tier” Gorillaz album, Demon Days is a beautiful album, that took the cake for the summer album of 2005. From the hardcore rock of White Light, to the beautiful orchestras of the song Demon Days, the album reigns as the best Gorillaz album.

The album was thought of after Damon Albarn took a train ride through China, seeing many of the barren wastelands laid throughout the nation. Then the fuse was lit, and the album about the end of the world was born. Apparently, he and others were the last living souls strong enough to make this. So they did. The songs, while mostly somber but rock and roll like, give a feeling of hope and inspiration to the listener. You become happy, especially as the album goes on. The album also features the most popular Gorillaz song.

Feel Good Inc.is a song on Demon Days featuring De la Soul, and it rap/rock and roll vibe, for lack of a better term, goes off. The extreme lyrics from De La Soul send the songs boosting into your head, nearly forcing you to bob your head and tap your feet. And the vocals by Damon Albarn bring back the whole atmosphere of Demon Days itself. The whole song itself is a staple on the music industry as a whole, and continues to rank in downloaded songs.

As the album comes to a close, the orchestral combo of Don’t Get Lost in Heaven and Demon Days combines to be a beautiful send off for the album itself. But, technically, this wasn’t the last we heard of Demon Days. In the end, you should be able to see why this album ranks top in music.



Take this as the reject batch from Demon Days. We’re only look at disc one, completely avoiding the remixes. Ugh, typing that just made me shudder (see DARE DFA remix). D-Sides is a real…amalgamation of songs. And it doesn’t work as well as Demon Days at all. While the songs are good (Bill Murray, People, Stop The Dams), they are organized in this hodgepodge way. There won’t be much time spent on this album, due to its extreme disorganization. But the album itself is fine, but if you’re binging the albums, maybe skip on this one. But don’t skip the next one.


Plastic Beach

This tropical misadventure is nothing to miss. With more De La Soul, and even a Snoop Dogg feature, it’s a weird album, but a fun one. This album is probably the most lore heavy (a whole other topic), but this is about music. The opening to this album is a classical piece, calming, but somewhat typical middle eastern. Then you have the Snoop Dogg feature, “Welcome To The World of The Plastic Beach,” A fast paced intro, with reggae tones and rock and roll aspects, it’s a quick ride, but a good one.

As you zoom through the album, you go from laying up on Melancholy Hill, meeting with a Superfast Jellyfish, becoming a bit Broken, then find yourself joining a….Sweepstakes. This song, whoo boy. It’s okay if you like long songs, but if you don’t, this six-minute journey of De La Soul going slightly insane is very unpleasant. But, you then get to experience one of the best Gorillaz songs, personally. Plastic Beach. Yeah, another self titled song. This rock and roll dream song sends you off to a literal Plastic Beach, where apparently you’re either with a Casio or wanna be casted out on said beach. Either way the guitar and drums play out well, and Albarn puts his heart into the chorus. A good send off of the album, even though it’s not the last song.



Humanz is a modern masterpiece of music. Even though not hailed by critics, many fans of Gorillaz, and music in general praise it. It’s honestly just an album for a party at the end of the world. This album is stuffed full of features, but even the songs with just Damon stand out. The beautiful chorus of Busted and Blue are words that go through the body and into the soul.

But other songs, such as Momentz, make you want to jump around and dance like there’s no tomorrow. Which, according to most of the lyrics in the album, there probably won’t be.

Hallelujah Money, released on Donald Trump’s inauguration day, is a song that stirred a ton of conflict. From the point of view of a world leader, distressed by his own policies and ways, sings a sad but glorious tune about money and power in today’s world. This song caused a lot of disruption in both the music and political community, with Damon Albarn and his “conspirators” taking a lot of hate.

Overall, through all the sad songs, and bopping beats, this album isn’t just a miss for Gorillaz fans, but music lovers in general.


The Now Now

Essentially, this album is known as the “tour album.” Throughout this collection of songs, Damon sings about his troubles, rekindling of old relations, and depression of his old age. From giving off Humility, to visiting a Magic City, this album is generally sad. There’s roughly any tone of happiness, exerting the song Humility. This song is a song to get you pumped up and ready to go on a run. But, after that, things like Kansas, Socererz, and others bring you back down to earth, and a little lower. But, in the end, it’s a great album!