The “Gorillaz” are a pop culture phenomenon.
For those unfamiliar, “Gorillaz” is a band that features the fictional cartoon characters 2D, Noodle, Russel Hobbs, and Murdoc Niccals. The members of the band are all primates, and no, not the human kind.
The extraordinary group was created by Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett in 1998. Damon Albarn, lead singer of the alternative rock band Blur, was to head the project in the musical department while Jamie Hewlett, a comic book designer, was to develop the band artistically.
Alburn’s previous project, Blur, rivals of the former English rock powerhouse Oasis, is primarily renowned for recording the song “Song 2,” also known as the tune where they shout “woo-hoo!” a lot.
The band’s self-titled debut album has earned them a world record for the “Most Successful Virtual Band”. The most popular song on the album, “Clint Eastwood,” blends elements of hip-hop and rock so well that it has been cited as one of the best songs of all time by NME.
But perhaps the most successful album in the “Gorillaz” discography is “Demon Days”, their second studio album which reached number 6 on the Billboard 200, completely eclipsing their first release. Featuring songs like “Feel Good Inc.,” “Dare” and “Dirty Harry,” “Demon Days” is a modern classic and essential. Bringing in veteran producer Danger Mouse meant that the album would be developed fully. Objectively, “Demon Days” is the band’s most refined and acclaimed album, garnering an 82 on Metacritic.
Their third studio album, “Plastic Beach”, was expected to blow us away and in a way it kind of did. In an interview with The Guardian, Damon Albarn praised “Plastic Beach”
“‘Plastic Beach is the biggest and most pop record I’ve ever made in many ways, but with all my experience to try and at least present something that has got depth.”
-Damon Albarn, creator of Gorillaz
“Plastic Beach” saw the band in more funky light with some touches of hip-hop here and there, including an unexpected feature by Snoop Dogg. Some consider this specific album to be one of the most outstanding. Genres are not just explored, they are created. Stand out tracks on the album include “Plastic Beach,” “Some Kind of Nature” and “Some Kind of Nature”. Personally, “Plastic Beach” is the most consistent out of all of their albums in that it reaches high points and stays there.
Gorillaz co-creator Jamie Hewlett confirmed the group’s on Instagram earlier this year. After almost 5 years of an indefinite hiatus, this band is due to release a new album in 2016. No one knows what they have in store next, but let’s hope that it was worth the five-year wait.