Showing posts with label gorillaz. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gorillaz. Show all posts

Thursday, July 5, 2018

video review: 'the now now' by gorillaz

Well, this was underwhelming. I'd like to say I'm surprised... but then again, I've always had a weird relationship with this group, so I'll take it as it is.\

But the next one... hell, it's Drake, you know what's coming. Stay tuned!

album review: 'the now now' by gorillaz

I can't be the only one a little floored that we have a new Gorillaz record already, can I? I mean, I thought Humanz was a good if uneven return last year, but it was the sort of project that didn't really herald an era of increased productivity for Damon Albarn's cartoon band... but apparently Albarn enjoyed the process of touring and felt that spark of inspiration return so frequently that before long he had another record ready to go. 

And I'll freely admit some of the buzz was... well, let's be honest and say kind of questionable, as Albarn was looking to frame this record as a lightweight point of reconciliation, something to bring people together across untenable divides before the apocalyptic framing of the last album really snapped into place. And sure, that could be an admirable intention, but as much as I liked the groove behind 'Humility', I wasn't sure Gorillaz would be able to mine the same emotional pathos and punch out of those tones - there's always been an understated murky edge to the group at their best that I hoped wasn't going to be left behind, and that's not even getting into the socio-political subtext that could very well continue from Humanz and that sort of comprised middle-ground might not be the best place for Gorillaz to land. But alright, what did we get from The Now Now?

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - june 16, 2018 (VIDEO)

Okay, album bomb, but a solid week regardless...

Next up, more Kanye, but with bonus Kid Cudi...

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - june 16, 2018

Kanye album bomb. Yeah, I know there are other things going on right now - a new #1, a sizable amount of activity further down the chart, but the big story is all of Kanye West's 'ye' crashing into the top 40, triggering a shockwave down the Hot 100 that'll likely be a mess to clean up next week... presuming of course Kids See Ghosts doesn't create its own impact!

Monday, May 1, 2017

video review: 'humanz' by gorillaz

Ohh boy, I can only imagine how things are going to go down with this video... but hey, you never know.

Next up, though - well, an old request finally got to the top and then an album I've been looking forward to all year, so stay tuned!

album review: 'humanz' by gorillaz

Okay, so when I was around my second and third year in university, I hung around a crowd that organized and went to a lot of raves - what can I tell you, I had a trance and acid house phase. Anyway, even though I'd prefer to stick to bourbon and beer instead of pot or ex or psychedelics, I did have several extended conversations with these folks surrounding the culture. And I remember one evening and one statement distinctly: 'if you ever choose to get into drugs, you'll wind up liking a lot of electronic music or a lot of hip-hop - and eventually, you're going to listen to a lot of Gorillaz'. 

Yeah, probably not a fair label to stick to Damon Albarn's most successful side project after Blur by a mile, but there was some truth to it, as the repetitive song structures, deep rhythmic grooves, and ever so slightly off-kilter vibe would probably seem profound to a chemically-enhanced mind. And throw in the trippy cartoon visuals and the sort of extended, convoluted backstory, and I could see the appeal. And even though I didn't and still don't do drugs - shut up, it's allergies - I did get into Gorillaz a fair bit that year. I liked their albums, I really dug the grooves, and once I decoded the message a lot of the post-apocalyptic environmental themes did resonate.

But around the end of 2010, around the time that The Fall was released - although not explicitly because of that record, though it didn't help - I kind of fell out with Gorillaz. Never to the point where I hated them - their singles are still karaoke staples for me, and it's great vibe music that has aged ridiculously well - but I'm not really passionate about the band the same I used to be. Part of it is linked to memories of old friends I haven't spoken to in years due to me unfortunately burning some bridges, but it goes beyond that. Even from the beginning, I was never really impressed with the songwriting - and lord knows the years of post-apocalyptic art has not helped the themes feel any more original or less heavy-handed - but I also had the impression Albarn occasionally was trying for swell and bombast that were just a poor fit for his cast of characters. And again, I long ago stopped caring about the 'narrative' - as I've always said, if you need peripheral materials to explain your album, you haven't exactly succeeded as a storyteller!

But hey, now we're in 2017 and there's a new Gorillaz record, reportedly inspired by pulling thematic suggestions out of a hat and coming up with... a certain someone winning the presidency in the United States - hey, remember when that seemed so impossible? Albarn to his credit scrubbed all mention of him from the record in the lyrics - which I agree with, for the record, it'll extend the album's shelf-life - but it seems like he was going for a repeat of Plastic Beach, with tons of guest stars for the grand comeback. So, what do we get out of Humanz?