Humanz by Gorillaz



We’ve all got heroes, haven’t we?

Music for me has always had a purpose; it’s a soundtrack to activity, a journey, a mood. Sometimes music is background noise, enjoyable enough but unchallenging and forgetful. Other times it’s a simple pleasure, evoking times past or an imaginary future.

The best music though, is challenging. Trying to understand the appeal of artists or genres that you’ve not heard before, or even considered, is rewarding and nobody has challenged me more, and introduced me to a more varied musical palate, than Damon Albarn. Yep the white middle aged Essex boy from a Britpop band. It’s funny isn’t it?

Blur were a great* band, one of the greatest in my experience, but they were always and always will be Blur. SInce they parted Damon Albarn seems to have turned into a musical missionary, converting the heathens and introducing the world’s music to the masses. *some may not agree

Gorillaz, the cartoon band he created with his ex-flatmate and artist Jamie Hewlett, has gone from interesting novelty side-project to a cultural phenomenon. In my house at least.

Gorillaz have also single-handedly rescued the letter Z from being nothing other than the last letter in the latin alphabet.

So, yes I was very excited for today’s release of the latest album by Gorillaz, Humanz. Not the queuing up at the record shop at 10am (record shops never opened at 9am, that’s a myth) type of excitement but stirred enough to be looking forward to listening to it whilst I wrapped up the week’s work.

So what’s it like? If you’re short of time it’s magnificent, and it should be the soundtrack to your summer of 2017. Just buy it, download it, stream it, whatever else you do... it, don’t steal it though. If you’ve more time let’s take a closer look. Track by track.

Intro: I Switched My Robot Off I’m not going to interpret every meaning in every tune, cause I can’t, but Damon’s surely introducing us to something here. He’s been well quoted on how he asked all collaborators to imagine the dark scenario of Donald Trump actually winning the US Presidential Election, a pretty unlikely scenario at the time, and the dystopian future that would ensue. And er well…

Ascension (feat. Vince Staples) Vince Staples is a West Coast rapper that should have been in Odd Future, but wasn’t. It’s a powerful, angry, opener and the line “Where you can live your dreams long as you don’t look like me… … Be a puppet on a string, hanging from a fucking tree (Aghh!)” tells you the mood.