Gorillaz - Gorillaz
Published in 1998
Danger, Danger Will Rohinson! I'm writing this on an iPod on a bus on my way from Chaing Mai to Bangkok, so the crazy finger detection of the iPod will not allow me to he my normal verbose and inttelligent self. I've noticed how much my wriong suffers when I do album projects on here, and I can tell you why. It's a lot harder on this little piece of shit keyboard for me to do things like subclauses and precision writing, because fucking commas and such are on a hunt and peck-riffic second keyboard. Anyway, consider yourself warned, you piece of putrid, pugnatious prattle! (Why the fuck are old Lost in space quotes rattling around in here?)
Dear Austin G,
I was shocked, shocked at your accusation about me not having written about this album. It would seem to me that had someone earlier made it more of a priority to inform me about his desire to see this album completed and stuffed upon these digital walls, it would have been done earlier.
There is a good reason for my reticence in this matter. One, this is one of my favorite albums, and thus, it is difficult for me to unabashedly write a pure love letter to it without seeming too sucrose sweet. The second is that I have already expressed my desire to do this album justice, which will be difficult. The third reason is that, of course, it is much easier to write about albums that I know, so keeping a classic like this in my back pocket means that when I'm feeling a bit thin, I can bust out a couple of hundred words and call it a project.
Of course, upon seeing your well phrased and gracious request, I was obliged to respond with this album project, presented post haste to you, but one fortnight anon.
Your friend, the honorable Baron of Albumsberry, Matteus Butlererer. Or as we'd say in the old country, fuck you, fine, I'll write the album up.
Gorillaz are one of the few bands in the world who I will buy every one of their records without hesitation. I owned Plastic Beach the day it came out, as chronicalled here, and I truly love their stuff. They are a contradiction of sorts, a supposedly fictional band, constructed as characters with full backstories, who have never and will never exist. Their backstory, which is long, complicated, and really fun to read, is pretty enjoyable, and their videos are some of the best ever.
Let's break this project down a bit. Three catagories: Songs you know, Songs you don't but should, and Songs that you don't need to know. (This list is for people completely new to Gorillaz, however, it is entirely my opinion, and the fact that I love this album should be taken into account.)
Songs You Know
Tomorrow Comes Today
Songs You Don't Know, But Should
Rock The House
Songs you don't need to know:
None. The albums weaker songs are still fucking awesome, and give you the keys to why I love them.
Okay, if you pressed me, I'd tell you that the intro to m1a1 is far too long for the payoff, that Que Pasa Contigo took me a while to appreciate, and Double Bass is a bt of a cast away track, that kind of got away from them, however this is one of the few albums on here that I think is actually an album, and therefore should not be divided.
I think that Gorillaz is a origin story for a world, not just an album. The reason I think this, is because the songs are themeatic and seem to occupy the same sound space. There is no track that is especially out of place, and the issues in each song seem to be interrelated. The world is one on the brink of collapse, and the music reflects this.
Lyrically, Mr. Albarn and company are incredibly solid, making the album fun to sing along to, and fun to figure out. Of course, the voice that launched a thousand rap rock collaborations deserves particular mention.
Del tha Funkee Homosapien knocks his two tracks out of the fucking park. Clint Eastwood's spaghetti western beat is lit the fuck up by the monsterous verses that Mr. Del brings to the table. The lyrics are tight, the character is clear, and it is just an incredible vocal feat.
This is not to say that Clint Eastwood is the best track with Del on it on the album, because Rock the House, his other contribution is perhaps an even finer piece of work, a fantastic bit of beat production, and a spectacular dance jam. (From memory) "Gravitational pull, I have you making a fool of yourself on the dance floor, doing backspins, running man and more" Too good.
If I can impress anything upon you with this silly little blog of mine, I must impress this, that even albums that sound childish in concept or execution can sometimes create masterpeices. The thing to remember is that human beings, when given a blank slate, create bloated, overworked monstrosities, but given a small group of core rules, will create brilliant, fun, and yes even a little silly things.
It is only when we lose focus from these small goals and try to make something too big for us that we see it as a failure. The failure is only due to our expectations being so high, and the product being impossible for the group to live up to. The perfect example of this is not from music, although "Democracy, Chinese" proves it to an almost rediculous amount, so much so that it should be ashamed of it's unliging self, but in film. The curse if the sequel is well known, because the problem with most sequels is that the script seemed to be "just like the first one, but more. (gimmick)". If you don't pick the right thing, the rules go all out of whack, and you get Spiderman 3. (Whose gimmick was "unlikeable characters"? "Villians neither adaquitely explained or utilized"? "Emo haircut dance numbers"? Mr. Raimi, however redeemed himself with Drag Me To Hell, a fun, tight, rule filled movie.)
Gorillaz has consistantly put out these kinds of albums, that are small tight and thematic. Oh, and fun to listen to, interesting, and that you can listen to. Their sequel formula seems to be something like "like the first one but completely different. Which is as it should be, an exprimental fictional band creating really amazing real music. I just hope we'll all keep listening.
Next week - Something I have more to say about because I don't think it is perfect.
Thanks again, Austin, I'm pretty sure this one deserves another couple of rewrites, so maybe I'll update it with more.
Are you a new reader? Or someone who hasn't subscribed yet? Please do, so I have a reason to keep on living! Also suggest albums, because if you don't I'll write things about my favorite shit, which is no fun for anyone who has different taste than me, or people who don't like to hear me figure out how to say listen to this shit, goddamnit, in new and exciting and more desperate ways.
"Somebody call Kenny Loggins, cause you're in the Danger Zone."