305 of 325 people found the following review helpful
on May 31, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Like you, I loved the first Gorillaz record. But also like you, I was a little worried about Gorillaz falling prey to the dreaded sophomore slump that many bands subsequently release after belting out such a stunning debut. Unfortunately, a lot of people are calling "Demon Days" just that, which couldn't be further from the truth. I can't say that I'm surprised, due to the change in the band's line up. Most notably, Dan The Automator has left the group (as well as Del), leaving Damon Albarn as the leader and creative visionary of the group (along with producer, Danger Mouse). That alone is enough to lose a few fans. But the fact is, Damon Albarn hasn't crafted anything this beautiful since Blur's 1994 "Parklife", which is truly an amazing feat. Especially considering Blur's last album "Think Tank" wasn't quite up to par. But this is very different than a Blur record. There is a real sense of liberation on Albarn's side. Gorillaz has really given him a chance to spread his wings, and let him experiment and try things he wasn't able to do with Blur. Albarn's flame has been re-ignited with this record, proving once again that his musical vision is one of a genius.
The record has a very cinematic feel to it. It possesses a lot of build-up and tear-down elements to it. The first few tracks feels like a warm up to the beautiful and chilling, "Dirty Harry", then bursting in with the climax of "Feel Good Inc." the first radio single off the record. Those two really hit hard, and the album doesn't let up until the album's lead out. "El Mañana" and "Every Planet We Reach Is Dead" are equally funky and remarkable tunes. The collaborators are sprinkled throughout the album, which are never overbearing, like on the track "November Has Come," where rap veteran Daniel Dumile (aka "MF Doom") lends a hand. It all leads up to the biggest climax of the album, "Dare". A gorgeously crafted pop song that has "club hit" written all over it (it's one of my favorites). The album starts to calm down over the final three tracks with great tracks like "Fire Coming Out of the Monkey's Head". The tracks work cohesively together, bringing the standout tracks to the forefront nicely. With that said, some tracks that may seem like filler to others, really add to the album's mood and flair. It doesn't feel like a bunch of tracks thrown on a CD. It feels like a journey through the eyes of Damon Albarn.
All in all, if you were into the first record strictly for the collaboration of Dan The Automator and Del Tha Funkee Homosapien (among others), then you may be somewhat disappointed with "Demon Days," although there are plenty of hip-hop elements to the record. If you entered "Gorillaz" from the Blur end of things, then what are you waiting for; you NEED this record. However you stumbled upon "Gorillaz," the material on this record is remarkable. I will admit, it isn't what I was expecting, which is almost why I like it more. It's far more interesting to listen to the stark contrast of their two studio efforts, than to keep thinking what could've been. This is by far my favorite album from Albarn, which I would recommend very, very highly.
33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on July 13, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Damon Albarn went to great pains to explain that the first Gorillaz album was a collaboration between him, cartoonist Jamie Hewlett, and producer Dan the Automator, but any sort of pretense to having the virtual pop group seem like a genuine collaborative band was thrown out the window for the group's long-awaited 2005 sequel, Demon Days. Hewlett still provides new animation for Gorillaz -- although the proposed feature-length film has long disappeared -- but Dan the Automator is gone, leaving Albarn as the unquestioned leader of the group. This isn't quite similar to Blur, a genuine band that faltered after Graham Coxon decided he had enough, leaving Damon behind to construct the muddled Think Tank largely on his own. No, Gorillaz were always designed as a collective, featuring many contributors and producers, all shepherded by Albarn, the songwriter, mastermind, and ringleader.
Hiding behind Hewlett's excellent cartoons gave Albarn the freedom to indulge himself, but it also gave him focus since it tied him to a specific concept. Throughout his career, Albarn always was at his best when writing in character -- to the extent that anytime he wrote confessionals in Blur, they sounded stagy -- and Gorillaz not only gave him an ideal platform, it liberated him, giving him the opportunity to try things he couldn't within the increasingly dour confines of Blur. It wasn't just that the cartoon concept made for light music -- on the first Gorillaz album, Damon sounded as if he were having fun for the first time since Parklife.
But 2005 is a much different year than 2001, and if Gorillaz exuded the heady, optimistic, future-forward vibes of the turn of the millennium, Demon Days is as theatrically foreboding as its title, one of the few pop records made since 9/11 that captures the eerie unease of living in the 21st century. Not really a cartoony feel, in other words, but Gorillaz indulged in doom and gloom from their very first single, "Clint Eastwood," so this is not unfamiliar territory, nor is it all that dissimilar from the turgid moodiness of Blur's 2003 Think Tank. But where Albarn seemed simultaneously constrained and adrift on that last Blur album -- attempting to create indie rock, yet unsure how since messiness contradicts his tightly wound artistic impulses -- he's assured and masterful on Demon Days, regaining his flair for grand gestures that served him so well at the height of Britpop, yet tempering his tendency to overreach by keeping the music lean and evocative through his enlistment of electronica maverick Danger Mouse as producer.
Demon Days is unified and purposeful in a way Albarn's music hasn't been since The Great Escape, possessing a cinematic scope and a narrative flow, as the curtain unveils to the ominous, morose "Last Living Souls" and then twists and winds through valleys, detours, and wrong paths -- some light, some teeming with dread -- before ending up at the haltingly hopeful title track. Along the way, cameos float in and out of the slipstream and Albarn relies on several familiar tricks: the Specials are a touchstone, brooding minor key melodies haunt the album, there are some singalong refrains, while a celebrity recites a lyric (this time, it's Dennis Hopper). Instead of sounding like musical crutches, this sounds like an artist who knows his strengths and uses them as an anchor so he can go off and explore new worlds.
Chief among the strengths that Albarn relies upon is his ability to find collaborators who can articulate his ideas clearly and vividly. Danger Mouse, whose Grey Album mash-up of the Beatles and Jay-Z was an underground sensation in 2004, gives this music an elasticity and creeping darkness than infects even such purportedly lighthearted moments as "Feel Good Inc." It's a sense of menace that's reminiscent of prime Happy Mondays, so it shouldn't be a surprise that one of the highlights of Demon Days is Shaun Ryder's cameo on the tight, deceptively catchy "Dare." Over a tightly wound four minutes, "Dare" exploits Ryder's iconic Mancunian thug persona within territory that belongs to the Gorillaz -- its percolating beat not too far removed from "19/2000" -- and that's what makes it a perfect distillation of Demon Days: by letting other musicians take center stage and by sharing credit with Danger Mouse, Damon Albarn has created an allegedly anonymous platform whose genius ultimately and quite clearly belongs to him alone.
All the themes and ideas on this album have antecedents in his previous work, but surrounded by new collaborators, he's able to present them in a fresh, exciting way. And he has created a monster album here -- not just in its size, but in its Frankenstein construction. It not only eclipses the first Gorillaz album, which in itself was a terrific record, but stands alongside the best Blur albums, providing a tonal touchstone for this decade the way Parklife did for the '90s. While it won't launch a phenomenon the way that 1994 classic did -- Albarn is too much a veteran artist for that and the music is too dark and weird -- Demon Days is still one hell of a comeback for Damon Albarn, who seemed perilously close to forever disappearing into his own ego.
89 of 106 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
This album has grown and grown on me. I wanted to write about the first six proper songs forming the heart of the album and the rest being disposable, but it's really not true. Every track has something interesting to offer. Funky beats, weird minor keys, little accents here and there. You have to appreciate the perspective of the creators of this album, the supremely playful and simultaneously world weary affect of pop veterans, who have seen it all and yet still want to mess with the form and function of their music. This is the work of an artist at the height of his powers who respects his audience. I can appreciate how people might listen to this and go WTF? But give it a chance. For every excess there's a hidden gem.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on May 6, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Some people have trouble listening to entire albums without skipping at least one track. I don't. Even if I don't love every song, if I felt enough like listening to the band to actually start it up, I can usually tolerate the weaker songs while I'm at it. I even tend to grow to like those songs on some level anyway. There are several albums I have where I do at least strongly like every song on them, though. The one thing that's pretty rare is for me to be able to specifically remember what all the songs sound like just by reading the titles. Demon Days is one of those are few.
The fact that Damon Albarn and company are able to mix such a range of genres and artists and keep all the songs unique while also creating a sense of cohesion, on top of making them all so catchy and enjoyable at the same time, is an astonishing achievement. There's rap, there's rock, there's electronica and dub and dance, there's spoken word and choir, and it's all extremely fun to listen to. My collection is almost exclusively rock, but I still find this to be one of my favorite albums to listen to. There's just something about the seamless blending of styles that makes you want to throw all your cares to the wind and just enjoy what you're listening to.
"Last Living Souls" has the most amazingly infectious electronic beat going through it the whole time. It's so good. "O Green World" has a very catchy vocal part and is another fun song. The single "Feel Good Inc" mixes a great base line and rap from De La Soul with the acoustic chorus very well. "Every Planet We Reach Is Dead" has a title that reflects the supposed darker tone of the album in relation to Gorillaz' self-titled debut, and the catchy melody reflects that in an odd way. "November Has Come" has probably the best rapping on the album. The song "All Alone" combines a driving synth part with some strange vocals that I really like. "DARE" is just a blast, with the two vocal parts coming together well to create a fun dance song. "Fire Coming Out Of A Monkey's Head" features the great Dennis Hopper reading a strange, slightly disturbing story, and leads into the last two tracks which blend together to form a very spiritual ending to a great album. Danger Mouse does a great job mixing it all together, and Albarn's vocals keep it connected and entertaining.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
Living in South Korea, I was way behind the buzz when the Gorillaz released this second album. I simply saw the title on my Amazon.com recommendations list. I loved their self-titled debut so much that I immediately ordered "Demon Days." I never heard or read one word about the album. I got the CD in the mail, listened to it, and loved it. So, point number one: if you liked the first one, you'll like this one.
What should the rest of you expect? The cartoon side-project that is represented by this group (which is really less of a "group" and more the brain-child of Damon Alburn of Blur) is a heavily experimental affair. Where the first record moved all over the map, toying with new mixes of old sounds, this record has a definite (almost narrative) flow. It starts with "Last Living Souls" in bass-heavy darkness, the music rich and wide with a cavernous feel, a hint of up-swing to the playfully gloomy sound.
"Kids With Guns," "O Green World," and "Dirty Harry," in spite of their playground pop sounds, are all similarly creepy. They play with lilting electronica and prodding rhythms, underlaying these things with an addictive, scabrous disonance.
Then comes the appropriately mislabled "Feel Good Inc.," the first single of the record, and with good reason. Featuring unsettling back-laughter, penitent lyrics, and De La Soul's invigorating voice, this song courts the album's dark mood with a lighthearded step.
That lightheartedness slinks away and hides in the next four tracks (with names like "All Alone" and "Every Planet We Reach Is Dead," that's to be expected). A tapestry of needfulness, lamentation, frustration, and yen-like confusion is woven in songs that are alternately soft and wirey, tender and knuckled. The dreariness is toppped off in "All Alone," which also includes a chorale of hope, leading into the next stellar track, DARE.
Easily the centerpiece of this album, DARE is a futuristic world-hopper, an incredibly fun, amazingly crafted soul-massage. Deep driving buzzes mixed expertly with high, stratospheric hums make for a song that is both playful and dreary, a combination that works, and works well.
Dennis Hopper's spoken-word "Fire Coming Out Of The Monkey's Head" isn't so notable, although it does segue (thematically and musically) into the album's final key notes of redemption. Church choir joy fills up "Don't Get Lost In Heaven," a song that is like the equivalent of a warm, amber dawn after a cool, ghost-plagued night. The next song, "Demon Days," is hardly another song at all, but the second half of the album's send-off into a brighter and happier world.
An inspired musical journey through twilight into day (or, if you prefer, simply a collection of fun, intelligent music), "Demon Days" is a world you'll enjoy visiting.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on January 21, 2007
Format: Audio CD
I can't say enough about this album. It's simply a piece of art. Every track on here is special. No, really! It's hard to find albums these days where every song is really good. I can tell that the group took their time in creating every gem on this album. The first time around, I'll admit I was not taken aback by all the songs. I really purchased it for two of the more popular songs. Well, the more I played it, the more it grew on me. Instead of skipping tracks, I started to pay attention to each one and then fell in love with the whole album. You can listen to this over and over again and discover something new each time. A must have for any serious music collector.
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on May 25, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I remember when I first heard the gorillaz. I was on a school field trip to the roller rink for an end of the year celebration. After eating everything in the place, my friends and I made our way to the rink, rented some crappy rollerskates and made our best effort to not to fall and look dumb or break the rollerskates that were held together by duct tape. Then, the rent-a-dj decided he was done for the day and spun the last track of the night. Low and behold, it was Clint Eastwood. Not only was this what made me love the gorillaz, this is, to the best of my memory, the first rap song i actually liked, as opposed to the mainstream crap i had heard on commercial radio.
That holiday season, I only had one item on my wish list: The gorillaz debut album. For 11th birthday, I received a walkman, and the gorillaz cd. It was all cartoonish, which I thought was cool beyond everything I had ever seen. I popped it into the walkman, and regained the love I felt that night. It was still there.
Two days later, still listening and loving it, I decided to do an internet search on the gorillaz. All the biographies and information archives seemed to indicate that the gorillaz weren't real, but rather a big cartoon reality backed by djs and several guest vocalists, backed by Damon Albarn of Blur. Having my fantasy smashed about going to a concert and meeting the band and getting there autograph, etc, really didnt phase me at all. The concept of a cartoon band only made me love them even more.
So you can imagine my joy when i heard feel good inc, which is possibly one of my all time favorite songs. A new gorillaz cd??? The band that ignited my love for hip hop??? I had to have it. I waited until the release date, bought the special edition, and rushed home, hoping to hear more of the same/similar gorillaz i knew from before.
To make a long story short, thats far from this album. Demon Days is a completely different experience than the first, less happy and more somber. What i loved about the first album was how experimental it was, and how different every song was. Clicking through the songs on demon days, it sounds like they have found their niche and have defined the band they want to be. But in my opinion, they were better when they didnt know. Because they end product is a bunch of unintelligible songs that I have tried so hard to like, but with no avail. With that being said, PLEASE, AUTOMATOR, COME BACK!!!!!!! dont get me wrong, danger mouse is tight, but i dont think hes the right man for the job. Now the grey album, there was a cool cd. The experimental beats and genres were what kept the gorillaz (and the grey album, as long as im on that topic) tight.
But enough with the negative, there were some tracks on this cd that I really liked. Here is a short review
Intro- Some oboe thing or something, I don't really know. Not digging it, this track was pretty boring. Oh well, it's just the intro. Who cares if it sucks? 4/10
Last Living Souls- Starts with some drumming, cues in Albarns off key, low key talk/singing, then comes in some new wave keyboards that steadily grow more upbeat. Kind of obnoxious, but I can listen to it, maybe just out of hope that the song will take a turn for the better. 6/10
Kids with Guns- I dont care what people say, this bass riff is NOT tight. Here come the crappy talk/singing vocals. Takes a slight turn for the better after some guitars come in. Sorry though, still not diggin it. 5/10
O Green World- Mediocre bass riff, with heavy percussion, some bird shrieking or something, then comes in a pretty tight guitar part, with choir like oh's, then distorted vocals from Albarn aka 2D. Pretty good 7/10
Dirty Harry- This was one of the songs I liked a bit more. It starts of with some cool instrumentals, then some vocals which dont add much really, but then a children's choir comes in, which cant help but remind me of the wall by pink floyd. After that, it gets techno with a cool melody. This continues for awhile, then goes into a rap segment by some dude named Bootie Brown, which caught me off guard but I still liked it. 8/10
FEEL GOOD INC- I dont really know what to say about this song, youve all probably heard it before. Tight bass riff enters in with some talkish vocals, which are wearing thin but i can tolerate them. You cant really understand the vocals, and after you learn them and try to sing along it sounds kinda weird. Cool drums, peaceful interval singing about a windmill, then comes the hard hitting rap solo by De La Soul. This is what reminded me of Del's work on Clint Eastwood. This bizarre chemistry they have with opposite genres that fluctuate a lot, it really shouldnt work, and it almost feels like two different songs (other than the bass riff). But it works. Really, really well. Way to go mouse. 11.5/10
El Manana- low key, one of the few songs on this CD that doesnt change styles or vocalists frequently. Really nice vocals from Albarn. Gotta love this one man. Its growing on me. 9/10
Every Planet We Reach is Dead- Hardcore intro with keyboard and synthesizer, I like it so far. It drops the keyboards and syth to give way to some slow, sweet vocals by Albarn. Then, goes back to the keyboard and synth. I like this one too 8.5/10
November Has Come- I like this song, tight rhymes by MF Doom, nice chorus by Albarn. Also, my birthday is in November. 9/10
All Alone- This song is really bizarre. It starts with echo vocals: "All alone, all alone" with some chipmunk like singers. Then, it hits you with some heavy percussion, which gives way to an awesome rap segment by Roots Manuva. Awesome, seriously. 9.5/10
White Light- repetitive, ok bass and drums, then comes with some weird guitar, which really threw me off. My least favorite song by far. Sorry guys, youre getting a 4. 4/10
Dare- This song has a more techno feel, with an 80's style keyboard and vocals with some mediocre vocals. Pretty good, i cant find much bad things to say about it. 7.5/10
Fire Coming out of a Monkey's Head- Storytelling mixed with twangy guitar, with refrains by Albarn that were kind of folksy but awesome. A good addition to the album. 8.5/10
Dont Get Lost in Heaven- this song didnt really fit with the others in my mind, but why not??? nothing really fit together on the debut record, and thats what i loved it for. Soft Piano, with a choir singing in the background. 7/10
Demon Days- Opens with violin, and high pitched woo wooing in the background, then some unintelligible falsetto vocals. Pretty good, didnt really stand out in my mind. 6/10
The bottom line is that this is a good album, worth getting probably. I wouldnt recomend the deluxe edition, because theres not much there other than the feel good inc video and hilarious commentary on it.
Thanks for reading, Malcolm
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on February 11, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I must admit, I have not bought into the whole concept of a virtual, animated band. I do question if several years after this review is written whether they will continue to ride a wave of success. However, one can't argue - at the time of this review they have made it work. Gorillaz's 2005 release "Demon Days" would bring the band a much more mainstream fan-base. Much of this success can be attributed to the single, "Feel Good Inc" - with a catchy beat and a mix of many styles would help Gorillaz broaden their audience. You will discover that when you get the album, "Demon Days" - you are getting an album that is not going to repeat the style of "Feel Good Inc" for each of its 15 tracks. Instead, you will see that "Demon Days" really is a concept album. Many of the tracks incorporate a variety of styles - Funk, Hip-Hop, Rock, and Pop. I also saw elements of Prince in this music. While the Virtual Band concept helps feed to the conceptual theme this album offers, this is clearly a work that could stand on its own for the musical product it presents.
"Demon Days" concept fits into the Science Fiction realm. It depicts a world in a post-doomsday state. Perhaps this doomsday state was caused by nuclear war or an alien invasion. How this occurred is left up to your imagination. "Demon Days" presents us with a feeling that this world is full of oppression, tyranny, and martial law. This feeling will continue through the story of "Demon Days". Toward the end of the "story" we are presented with a more uplifting theme and some hope for optimism. There will be a heavy use of synthesizers on this collection, but they will basically help to enhance the story that is put forward here. The whole anime concept of the virtual band has helped also to tell this story visually.
The collection starts off with an "Intro". This part really almost simulates how the "Doomsday" occurred. The band uses "elements" (as they call it) from the game "Dark Earth" and from the "Dawn of the Dead" soundtrack. It is an instrumental, but the "elements" assembled really helped to demonstrate this feeling. Following the "Intro", the collection takes us into "Last Living Souls". This seems to take place after the doomsday occurred. Those who remain alive now are simply asking the question, "Are we the last living souls?" You will hear sirens that almost paint a picture of martial law that is described in the lyrics. The third track is "Kids With Guns" - a title that continues with the theme of anarchy that is painted in the world depicted by "Demon Days". There is a great bass track - and some nice piano work. Listen to some of the Prince-like vocals in this song. Nenah Cherry has guest vocals.
"O Green World" continues the themes of the previous two songs. The synthesizers in this song almost give me the feeling that there was an alien invasion as opposed to a nuclear war that resulted in this state. The lines "O Green World, don't desert me now" almost is a cry for help for those who survived. The fifth song is "Dirty Harry". This song will also back-up the theme of anarchy and oppression that have been set forward on the previous songs. There is a Hip Hop part of this song that you will either love or hate. There is also a good funk groove to this song.
"Feel Good Inc" has a very catchy beat. It is going to have both a Funk and Hip Hop sound along with some elements of Rock. Again while I not a Hip Hop fan, it works in this song - namely because it is sung from both the point of view of those who are in "control" and those who are "oppressed".
The themes put in place on this collection continue on "El Manana" and "Every Planet We Reach is Dead". There are some terrific harmonies on "El Manana". The sirens continue to depict the anarchist state portrayed on this album. Listen for the strings toward the end of this song. "Every Planet We Reach is Dead" almost has almost a futuristic blues sound to it.
Tracks 9 and 10 are "November Has Come" and "All Alone" respectively. I found these the two most "rap"-like tracks. They continue the theme of the album. I felt "November Has Come" was the weakest track of the collection. The female vocal segment by Martina Topley Bird on "All Alone" is very good.
"White Light" is the 11th track. This song has a punk rock feel to it. Not many words to this song - the words "White Light" will play mantra-like.
"DARE" is a very good song. This song contains elements of funk and techno-dance. It also has a Prince-like feel to it.
"Fire Coming Out of the Monkey's Head" is going to be highlighted by spoken words read by actor Dennis Hopper. This tells the story of a town that was insulated from the oppression of the anarchy, but then eventually falls victim to it.
The last two tracks are assembled as a segue with an Orchestra-like sound. "Don't Get Lost in Heaven" almost has a psychedelic 1960's theme to it while the title track "Demon Days" has more of a "Purple Rain" feel to it (especially in the strings). I found these are the songs that take the album's very depressing theme and end it on a uplifting feel and a note of optimism.
The liner notes do not include the lyrics - I consider that a negative when you have a "concept album". Despite the animated nature that Gorillaz presents, parents should be warned that there is adult language and suggestive language in some parts of this album. Musically, this album is as solid as they come. Highly recommended.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on August 30, 2005
Format: Audio CD
When the first Gorillaz album hit the radio waves it was hard not be charmed by songs like Clint Eastwood and 19/2000. It pulled together some different elements, had some campy fun sensibilities to them, and of course a slick presentation to the band itself. That said, it's not the kind of album that I find myself compelled to listen to years later, except maybe to play a choice cut that I'm in the mood for. It was a fun album in its time and place.
Demon Days is such a leap for the fictitious band that it's almost feels like a different project altogether. I can't help but be reminded of the Beastie Boys leap from Liscensed to Ill to Paul's Boutique (the former being a classic bit of simplistic 80s cheese that we all thought was fun and the latter being a timeless classic that might be the only rap album released in the 80s that doesn't sound dated).
It's no coincidence that Demon Days features a prominent change in lineup. Producer Dan the Automator has been left behind for newcomer Danger Mouse, a bold endeavor which has payed off in spades. I was completely unaware of Danger Mouse before this album (and indeed his credits are few) but I do know that I will keep a close eye on anything he does from now none.
Demon Days might be the best produced album of the last decade (barring, perhaps Brian Wilson's SMiLE). In terms of sound, Demon Days is completely unlike anything I've ever heard (though all the elements are recognizable). The spine of the production seems to be alot of very nimble electronica. Alot of it thudding and danceable, but with melodic threads that work well with Albarn's somber lilting. Blended perfectly into this fray are some very nice string arangements that recall some of the best of 70s soul, as well as some delicate acoustic guitars, pianos, and even a children's choir. It doesn't rely on predictable standards for constructing a coherent sound. The result is something which feels something like pop, hip hop, rock, techno and yet one wouldn't call it any of these for even a moment.
I don't know if there's really any songwriting going on in this album. There's definately melody going on, and it's very effective, often actually emotional (something I could never say about the Gorillaz first outing). But what I'm not really sure of is that any of it could work if it were to be stripped down. Lyrically there's nothing particularly captivating either, though nothing that turns me off either. But the album in its highly polished state it is perfectly effective, so I'm not sure that these things are even an issue. These same critiques could be made of Beck's Odelay, but the same sorts of strengths that make that album overcome these things work for Demon Days as well.
It's also worth mentioning that this album is clearly more of a coherent project than the first. The album has a beginning, a cimax, and a cathartic ending. It feels like a journey, and tracks flow well into each other, and sometimes work better in context than they otherwise would.
I've been listening to this album for a while now before deciding to write on it, and I can say with some confidence, that's something I will be listening to for years to come. It's just extremely well put together, and its sound is full, rich, and very fresh. One can only hope that this will inspire other artits in the mainstream to be as adventurous.
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on December 27, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Gorillaz, the first Gorillaz CD, was a perfect CD. It was innovative, with so many different sounds and styles blending together; it had hard rock, rap, alternative, and plenty of other stuff.
Demons Days, thankfully, kept true to it predecessor by keeping that same style. This is a perfect sequel to a perfect CD. Nothing can be said negative about this CD, other than it isn't as long as Gorillaz. After that, though, the content is much more varied and stylistic than the first, with songs that have meaning as well as the chaos that goes with listening to the Gorillaz. It takes time to find the meanings, but when you do there will be some gratification. And the title, whether it was intentional or not, goes so well with the times. It doesn't have anything to do with demons, either, so all you parents out there can stop looking at your children as if they are devil worshippers.
There are plenty of standout tracks on this CD, but the showcase songs are Feel Good Inc., Dirty Harry, Dare, and the title song Demon Days. Feel Good Inc. is a mixture of rap and alternative, and is the first single on the CD. Dirty Harry is the song that has a great deal of meaning dealing with the times we live in the war going on, following an alternative/rap style, but with a great chorus backing that fades in slowly. Dare is a dance song, plain and simple, with a techno beat that sounds great when played loud. Demon Days, the true oddball here, is an orchestral song with tambourines in the background and great lyrics. Following I've listed the entire track selection, and my personal starred rating of each song:
1. Intro: ** (Gets you into a mood but is short and not in actuality a song)
2. Last Living Souls: **** (Good opening song with a simple, addictive beat)
3. Kids with Guns: **** (Another simple beat, but this song has a profound title that is eye-catching)
4. O Green World: *** (Plucked electric guitars, as well as a techno beat that comes in and alternative-styled lyrics)
5. Dirty Harry: *****
6. Feel Good Inc.: *****
7. El Manana: **** (slow lyrics and a soft techno sound)
8. Every Planet We Reach is Dead: **** (electric guitars and a keyboard open this song with slowly sung lyrics)
9. November Has Come: **** (rap with a good base-thumping beat, as well as a decent chorus line)
10. All Alone: **** (probably the fifth best song on the CD, with a techno sound and odd lyrics and a rap)
11. White Light: *** (hard rock with a harsh drum beat, the only song I skip when listening, next to the intro, though it isn't bad)
12. Dare: *****
13. Fire Coming Out of the Monkey's Head: **** (a story song with a humming chorus and steady beat)
14. Don't Get Lost: **** (Orchestral like Demon Days, and in many ways a prelude to the final track)
15. Demon Days: *****
I'd recommend Demon Days to any anyone who likes a different style to their music, and definitely to Gorillaz fans, as it is their best and promises a great future for this odd group of cartoon characters.