Wednesday, June 16, 2010

CD Odyssey Disc 138: Gorillaz

The latest roll is the third straight disc from the oughts. Doing this Odyssey has shown me that I have music mostly spread over the last four decades, and a surprising amount from the last ten years.

This one happens to be Sheila's, but they all count for the Odyssey.

Disc 138 is...Demon Days
Artist: Gorillaz

Year of Release: 2005

What’s Up With The Cover?: Profile shots of "the band". As I noted in my review of the Gorillaz' first album at Disc 74, these guys like to pretend they are cartoons. I think it is a bit goofy, but each to his own.

How I Came To Know It: Sheila introduced me to the Gorillaz. I'm not sure how she found out about them, but she buys their albums, and this is one of them.

How It Stacks Up: We have two Gorillaz albums - we don't have their 2010 release, but if Sheila wants it, I'm sure she'll pick it up. I have enough addictions of my own (I just bought my 4th Budgie album today). Of the two we do have, "Demon Days" is definitely my favourite.

Rating: 3 stars.

"Demon Days" is a good record, in a genre I don't understand very well. I've listed it here as "rap and hip hop" but I could have just as easily gone "electronica". It is the artificiality of that electronic sound that I find a bit jarring (I usually prefer my music more organic).

That said, this album is made of pretty groovy stuff. It is a bit overlong, at fifteen tracks, but not so much that it is irritating. I actually think cutting a song or two might disturb the flow, so I'll give that a pass.

On their first release, the Gorillaz had a hit with "Clint Eastwood" so it is kind of funny that this album has a song called "Dirty Harry". It is a good enough track, but my favourite is the funky "Feel Good Inc." The rapping on "Feel Good Inc." reminds me of Outkast, when they aren't sucking (so you know - it has a rare feel).

The album has more range overall than the other Gorillaz record, with some quieter tracks and songs that almost have a narrative quality to them.

There is a particularly wacky song near the end titled "Fire Coming Out of the Monkey's Head" which is basically the story of a peaceful mountain people that are taken advantage of by a greedy race that mines the gemstones out of their sacred caves. Of course, this offends their Monkey god, which retaliates by spewing fire and bringing doom to all.

Either that, or there was a mining operation in an active volcano, which went off. It is hard to tell with myths what actually happened, and what is embellishment. As for me, I'm going with the Monkey God story, since it is more entertaining.

This CD is entertaining as well. I wouldn't say it is a love connection, but it is solid, and when Sheila puts it in the rotation on a game night, I am always happy to have it in the mix.

Best tracks: Kids With Guns, Dirty Harry, Feel Good Inc., Dare


Sheila said...

I really love this album - shout out to Dennis Hopper who narrates "Fire Coming Out of the Monkey's Head." (RIP)

I will be buying the new album soon.

Chris said...

Another one that I am quite fond of. It almost has the feel of a concept album, although what the actual concept is, who can say?

The rapping on Feel Good, Inc is done by 90's rapper's De La Soul. They're actually quite good in their own right (although nothing of their oeuvre resides in my library).

If you get a chance to watch the live show they did (it's on HDNET regularly) do so, it's quite entertaining. Bonus performance by Ike Turner as one of the guest artists!