Gorillaz is back in an improved virtual world, and it’s pixelated perfection.
After falling off the Earth for seven years, the British virtual band is back with four singles leading up to the release of their fifth studio album, on April 28, “Humanz.” They’re all hits and have some dope features.
There isn’t much more left to say except that it was worth the wait. I first heard one of their more popular songs, “DARE,” when I was around 8-years-old; even then I was hooked. Their sound still to this day sounds like it came out of the main menu screen from an old GameCube game. The computer generated tunes began back in late March.
“We Got The Power” is the first single. It’s the only song without complete autotune and is empowering. There are excerpts from a speech played during the chorus. It’s one of those songs where you feel on top of the world.
A common theme among the singles is humanity, justice, and equality. The last time I heard something this anti-world and political was A Tribe Called Quest’s album back in November.
While “Ascension” is rather pessimistic, “We Got The Power” isn’t. Actually, “Ascension” is nearly a duplicate of Flume’s hit “Smokes and Retribution.” The catch is Vince Staples is on both tracks. Maybe he co-wrote both? Either way, both are fantastic and “Ascension” is a great addition to the four newbies.
With more artists than not, from my experience, new releases are nothing more than switching around a beat or two or slapping on some autotune or voice alterer. I can happily say these guys haven’t done that. “Saturnz Barz” has no similarities to the other current tracks, and definitely not something from “Plastic Beach,” “Gorillaz,” “The Fall,” or “Demon Days.”
One thing appreciated about their persona is how well they portray it into their creations. Their videos are virtual and so are the melodies. It is mainly computer generated now and they found ways to get the same effect back in the early 2000s when technology wasn’t as prominent. The use of excessive auto-tune showcases what they stand for.
The exposure to new Gorillaz music has me stoked for next week. Sometimes the frustration of artists being distant is worth it.