Album review: Gorillaz – Humanz
For the approaching weeks, a drip feed of songs left the internet suspended in, well… suspense. After six long years, last Friday saw the release of Humanz, the fifth studio album from virtual British act, Gorillaz.
Even with a massive 20-track listing and the guest appearances to match, it still pains me to say it wasn’t quite what I expected from the digital four-piece (manned by Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett).
Not to say that there is an ounce of predictability about the group or that they have a definitive style, but I just felt a bit short changed by the end. There are moments of brilliance, and it obviously goes without saying that there are still some remarkable tracks on this album.
Notorious for their hip-hop blends, there’s an A-list feature of rappers, such as Pusha T, Vince Staples, D.R.A.M, Danny Brown and old time Gorillaz collaborators, De La Soul. There’s 50% dark dance vibes and 50% nostalgic 70s disco driving this album, more than anything else, which is welcomed on some tracks and not so much on others (if you’re expecting any more Feel Good Inc magic from De La, maybe next time).
Saturnz Barz feat. Popcaan was the first single released off the album and it remains a standout. A mixture of industrial/reggae/hip hop, it strikes personally as a textbook Gorillaz track; perfect embodiment. Andromeda feat. D.R.A.M. is another great track and fits onto the more disco-house side; being the more denser part of the album, you just wish you heard more tracks like this.
Other notable mentions are Let Me Out feat. Mavis Staples & Pusha T, and She’s My Collar feat. Kali Uchis. With so many different features and collaborations on this album, it’s hard to find any sense of continuity, which isn’t necessary but sometimes there’s nothing wrong with a bit of familiarity.
Humanz, while producing some quality listening, I feel is a convoluted example of what could have been.
Review by Travis Jordan.