Gorillaz is virtual band created by the Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett in the late 1990’s following four fictional characters created by the duo: lead singer 2D, bass player Murdoc, drummer Russell and guitarist Noodles. On April 28 of 2017, following close to an 8 year hiatus and talk of them never returning, the group made a comeback with their Humanz album. It’s a mix of genres and stuffed full of colab artist but some parts of it were questionable, landing the album a 3 out of 5
With almost 30 songs on the album, there is a full mix of rap to much slower ballads. But such a combination of styles makes the album sound more like a playlist than a single album. While a lot of the songs are great, and go quite well with the alternative rock/alternative hip hop vibe the band has held up for so long, many of the songs sound just enough out of place for it to be noticeable.
Personally, it feels like the album could have benefited by giving their lead singer – voiced by Damon Albarn himself – more of the spotlight. His breathy verses in ‘Saturn’s Barz’ and the softly sung ballad in ‘Busted and Blue’ were both phenomenal, and some of the best parts of the album and it would have been nice to see more of it. Following such a long break in content, I personally would have loved to see the group go back to their alternative roots.
Overall, it was great to see a group I have loved for many years finally put out more music, and I am hopeful to a future of more great Gorillaz content. It showcased many talented artists and many lovely songs, but it could have been stronger.
The 26-song-album can still be purchased for $14.99 and it is definitely worth a listen to music lovers of any kind. With such a wide range of songs, it’s not hard to find something you like in it.