Album Review: Gorillaz – Humanz
Review by John Wright
Gorillaz – Humanz
How much does it matter what an album is trying to do? Is a big sprawling concept album with thematic coherence and some kind of interesting vibe or message like OK Computer by Radiohead or the Gorillaz own Plastic Beach better than your average collection of fun songs for cool people just on the basis of trying harder to make some kind of impact? I ask myself this question purely because a collection of fun songs for cool people describes Humanz to a T. This doesn’t make the album actively bad, but when your discography is as strong as Gorillaz, with 3 all-time great albums under your belt, fans begin to expect something cool and new and different every time, and Humanz just isn’t focused or trying hard enough to be that. It’s a big fun party album, and that’s all it wants to be. There are highlights: “Strobelite” is maybe the most danceable song I’ve heard all year. “Saturnz Barz” has a great feel to it and is a worthy first single. “Let Me Out” is fun enough to justify its own existence and it’s always great to hear Pusha T. Also, “Busted and Blue” is a great solo vocal track for Damon Albarn, who doesn’t show up often enough on this album. There are some low points too, and some songs just don’t land or seem to serve any purpose. There’s some superficial theme about a party at the end of the world (because Trump, yo) but it just feels like fluff. On a 20 track album with 6 interludes, fluff starts to build up after a while. Despite all this, I still thought the album was pretty good, but I can get pretty good just about anywhere. When one of my favorite bands puts out an album, maybe their last, I want it to be great.
For Fans of: Beck, Damon Albarn, Vince Staples , De La Soul, The Avalanches