Gorillaz Gorillaz

[Virgin; 2001]

Rating: 3/5

Styles: hip hop
Others: Deltron 3030, Blur, Handsome Boy Modeling School, Dr. Octagon

What do you get when you mix Damon Albarn (Blur) and Jamie Hewlett (Tank Girl cartoonist) together? And let's say you throw in producer Dan "The Automator" Nakamura (Handsome Boy Modeling School, Dr. Octagon), Miho Hatori (Cibo Matto), Kid Koala, and the rap stylings of Del Tha Funkee Homosapien (Deltron 3030). Even a catchy single "Clint Eastwood" with a cute animated video for good measure. Throw in a fat guy with a red suit and you gots Christmas -- well, at least to some extent.

The Gorillaz are a fictitious band containing 4 members: 2-D (singer), Murdoc (bass), Noodle (guitarist) and Russell (drums). The music is highly produced, futuristic hip-hop in the vein of Deltron 3030. Other than the cartoon gimmick, what sets The Gorillaz apart from the rest of the hip-hop groups is the fact that they combine the rock sensibilities in a band like Blur with the rap quirkiness of a group like Handsome Boy Modeling School. The result: extremely catchy music that will make you shake your booty til' the break of dawn.

But the album does get a little repetitious and maybe a bit boring. Which is probably because there are 18 tracks (including a "Clint Eastwood" remix) that do not flow that well as a whole. And the lack of variety causes the music to drag on and on. But still, the individual songs are fun and energetic and although the album is not as cohesive as Deltron 3030's self-titled, it's still a great album to have when you need a break from conventional guitar rock.

1. Re-Hash
2. 5/4
3. Tomorrow Comes Today
4. New Genious (Brother) [Brother ? Mix]
5. Clint Eastwood
6. Man Research
7. Punk
8. Sound Check (Gravity) [Gravity Surge Remix]
9. Double Bass
10. Rock the House
11. 19-2000
12. Latin Simone
13. Star Shine
14. Slow Country
15. M1 A1
16. Dracula
17. Left Hand Suzuki Method