When I first heard the Gorillaz, they blew me away. I was never much of a fan of hip-hop until recently, but something about Gorillaz was different. Now that I'm older and wiser, I can see that that's because they really don't have much to do with hip-hop beyond the production. No, apart from Clint Eastwood and Rock the House, the two songs featuring Del tha Funkee Homosapien's rapping, this is just pop music. But I'll be damned if they don't do it well. And why shouldn't they? With this largely being Damon Albarn's side-project from Blur, it comes as no surprise that this is catchy. Gorillaz is a big departure from the pop-rock of Blur, but his keen ability to write hooks remains, leaving Dan the Automator to work his production magic. This was rather innovative at the time of its release, and I still haven't heard much of anything else that's like this. It takes more than just originality to be a winning album, though, and Gorillaz delivers in the song department, too. This is some of the catchiest stuff ever recorded, and while it's not terribly deep, not everything needs to be. This album can do it all from downbeat songs like Tomorrow Comes Today to the hip-hop classic, Clint Eastwood, to the well, punk of, Punk, to even a little bit of Latin (ok, a lot of Latin) influence on Latin Simone. 19-2000 is the most like Blur, and it's also great. I can see why this album fails to do much for a lot of people, and there are definitely some songs that fall under the failed experiment category, but it's all interesting, and tons of fun. I know this is a bit blasphemous, but I actually prefer this to most of Blur's work. Certainly not for everyone, but I'd recommend you give it a chance.
And never mind the fact that they're a virtual band with awesome music videos and artwork by Jamie Hewlett.
By: Moe Hartman.