The much-anticipated return of alternative virtual band Gorillaz was always going to cause a stir. However, while the dub stroll of ‘Clint Eastwood’ or the head-bopping hip-hop verses of ‘Feel Good Inc.’ will forever last in the memory, I’m not sure the same can be said of Damon Albarn’s current output. Under this moniker, he’s always delivered his own brand of hip-hop/alt-pop, but Humanz sounds like he is merely a cameo on someone else’s record.
Despite the 20-track album length, the whole experience is over in under an hour. This is because, on closer inspection, the first track is merely an intro and five others are interludes. The shortest of the bunch being ‘Elevator Going Up’ which lasts a grand total of 5 seconds. It is humourous I will give it that, as is ‘The Non-Conformist Oath’, but I want to hear some music.
‘We Got The Power’ remains an uplifting anomaly and ends the record reasonably well, but it sticks out like a sore thumb.
I’ve been fairly disappointed in the run up to this album and on the first play-through, it’s doing little to convince me otherwise. The vapid singles which we were offered before the album release are joined by forgettable filler. Only the melancholic serenity of “Busted and Blue” and the unlikely union of Mavis Staples and Pusha T on ‘Let Me Out’ offer any moments of substance and satisfaction.
‘We Got The Power’ remains an uplifting anomaly and ends the record reasonably well, but it sticks out like a sore thumb. It doesn’t fit with the rest of the album and so by the time you make it to the album finale it catches you off guard.
The sad thing is, we know Gorillaz have been able to deliver the goods before. On Humanz, Albarn takes a back seat, lets the collaborators drive and as a result, you end up in the middle of nowhere.
By Will Hunt
Mavis Staples and Pusha T – the best collaboration
Albarn sounds like he’s guest-starring on his own album
No memorable hits which stand out
|1. Intro: I Switched My Robot Off|
|2. Ascension (feat. Vince Staples)|
|3. Strobelite (feat. Peven Everett)|
|4. Saturnz Barz (feat. Popcaan)|
|5. Momentz (feat. De La Soul)|
|6. Interlude: The Non-conformist Oath|
|7. Submission (feat. Danny Brown & Kelela|
|8. Charger (feat. Grace Jones)|
|9. Interlude: Elevator Going Up|
|10. Andromeda (feat. D.R.A.M.)|
|11. Busted and Blue|
|12. Interlude: Talk Radio|
|13. Carnival (feat. Anthony Hamilton)|
|14. Let Me Out (feat. Mavis Staples & Pusha T)|
|15. Interlude: Penthouse|
|16. Sex Murder Party (feat. Jamie Principle & Zebra Katz)|
|17. She’s My Collar (feat. Kali Uchis)|
|18. Interlude: The Elephant|
|19. Hallelujah Money (feat. Benjamin Clementine)|
|20. We Got The Power (feat. Jehnny Beth)|