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Gorillaz


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Audio CD, June 19, 2001
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Audio, Cassette, August 13, 2001
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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The Gorillaz claim to have found their motley crew of cartoon characters sleeping in Leicester Square, but Blur's Damon Albarn (a.k.a. 2-D) and cult cartoonist Jamie Hewlett (Murdoc) aren't fooling anyone. As the ultimate experiment in manufactured image, the Gorillaz are a virtual cartoon-character-based hip-hop band who bring together witty, silly lyrics and talented musicians. Infectious old-school hip-hop rhythms, rhymes, and effects courtesy of Deltron 3030's Kid Koala and Del Tha Funkee Homosapien (Russel) are combined with Albarn's passion for chugging lo-fi and edgy melodies to create a seemingly raw but ultimately slick blend of styles. This is nowhere more evident than on the hit single "Clint Eastwood," which is carried along by the sound of 2-D's slurred voice and a bluesy harmonica melody interrupted by Russel's punching rhymes. But the surprises don't stop there: Ibrahim Ferrer's appearance on "Latin Simone" could have come straight from Buena Vista Social Club but for the obvious Blur-influenced piano style, while the spooky intro to "M1 A1" wouldn't sound out of place on Michael Jackson's Thriller. Backed by Jamie Hewlett's death-wish character on bass, Cibo Matto's Miho Hatori (Noodle) on guitar and occasional hyperactive vocals, and produced by Dan "the Automator" Nakamura, it's hardly surprising that Gorillaz is marked both by a sense of playfulness and a passion for experimentation. --Caroline Butler

1. Re-hash
2. 5/4
3. Tomorrow Comes Today
4. New Genious (Brother)
5. Clint Eastwood
6. Man Research (Clapper)
7. Punk
8. Sound Check (Gravity)
9. Double Bass
10. Rock The House
11. 19-2000
12. Latin Simone
13. Starshine
14. Slow Country
15. M1 A1
16. Dracula
17. Left Hand Suzuki Method

Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 19, 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Parlophone
  • ASIN: B00005LMBK
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (442 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,722 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Jack Dempsey on July 27, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I'm a huge Blur fan. That's what first lead me to this cd. I've followed everything they've done, be it Graham Coxon's solo stuff, or Damon Albarn's soundtrack talents for "Ravenous."
Then, the icing on the cake: Kid Koala, turntablist extraordinaire. If you are at all into underground (i.e., true) hip-hop, you've probably already come across Deltron 3030's release featuring Kid Koala and Del the Funky Homosapien, along with about 200 other guest appearances. If not, check it out at once. And for a TRUE showcase of Kid Koala's talents, check out his solo cd on the Ninja Tune record label, "Carpal Tunnel Syndrome." It is beyond awesome, and simply amazing.
This, giving its background, could not miss. It doesn't. From start to finish, it is incredible. I remember first seeing the video for "Clint Eastwood" on MTV2. If the animation and humor of these guys don't get you, the music certainly will. Tripped out music with cool, almost indifferent, vocals. The beats, and samples are, as always with the Kid, without fault.
Definitely give this one a go. And, as a special bonus, the cd comes as an enhanced cd, with some very cool animation, and even better wallpaper and screensaver additions. With this cd, you will be given the key to Murdoc's Winnebago. Next stop, figure out how to use it to get in.
Enjoy.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 20, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Conglomerate musical groups made from established talents making concept albums usually sound plodding and indulgent, yet this album is the complete opposite. The Gorillaz are an intense combination of musical styles and animation/illustration art that creates a multimedia buffet for the senses. Quirky, enjoyable music meanderings encompass rap. provided by Del tha Funky Homo Sapien, indie exotica from Miho Hattori, and mainstream pop kookiness issuing throughout from Damon Albarn of Blur. At first listen, the more memorable songs are 'Clint Eastwood', 'Rock The House' , '19-2000' and 'Tomorrow Comes Today' and on further listening, all the peronal oddity of the group becomes obvious through songs like the manic 'Punk' and horror revive of 'M1 A1' which starts with the opening lines of the classic gore film 'Day of the Dead'. This debut album is absolutely brilliant listening, and accomodates long hours of repeated listening; music to relax to, music to work by, music to dance with. Albarn's London roomate Jamie Hewlitt provides a comic book fascade for the group supplying an animation art style that blankets the album and insert, and adeptly adorns their music videos, enhancing the music. The group also has a website which combines music, art, sound, information and oddities making Gorillaz the best multimedia experience going in this new millenium. In a time of rather highly hyped over heated media sensation boy/girl bands, repetitive rap acts and droning inexpressive guitar bands, the Gorillaz are a fresh, light hearted alternative that haven't nearly begun to wear out a very warm welcome.
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42 of 49 people found the following review helpful By The Caster Kid on April 13, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I'm leaning against the wall of the bathroom wondering if I'm gonna throw up.

It's too much.

In order to write this little review I tried to grapple with this album, I tried to swallow it whole. I tried to digest it and I hurt myself. This album is too rich and too multidepthed to allow a simple synopsis. It's too complex to digest quickly. There are too many styles and too many layers. This is a dizzying collection of endless experimentation and surgically brilliant production. And it won't stop.

It's sheik and smooth like the models on the covers of magazines you don't buy but can't help staring at. It's funny too. It's funny in a covert coy way. Like a kid's tv show that secretly pokes fun at adult themes like sex and politics. It's funny enough to make you laugh. But just as your chest swells for a little cute giggle you catch the charred death scent of a cigarette and you can almost taste the burn of cheap whisky in the back of your throat: That's the dark brooding shadows this album casts as you spin it so idly.

And that's why my stomach and mind threaten to rebel (and expel.) How can you devour something with such a range of tastes? You can't eat something salty and sour, spicy and sweat, hot and cold... Maybe a few of these combinations are delectable but the whole array? It'd kill you... you'd choke...

Thank god the album doesn't force its schizophrenic characteristics on you all at once.

Instead the Gorillaz deliver these tastes in subtle sly hints and nudges. And most people would be utterly ignorant of the Band's brilliance if they did not provide the LP with multiple listens. It requires slow and careful consumption. Take your time. Don't try to stuff your face.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Mark Schaefer on July 12, 2005
Format: Audio CD
It's tempting to judge Gorillaz -- Damon Albarn, Tank Girl creator Jamie Hewlett, and Dan "The Automator" Nakamura's virtual band -- just by their brilliantly animated videos and write the project off as another triumph of style over substance. Admittedly, Hewlett's edgy-cute characterizations of 2-D, Gorillaz' pretty boy singer (who looks a cross between the Charlatans' Tim Burgess and Sonic the Hedgehog), sinister bassist Murdoc, whiz-kid guitarist Noodle, and b-boy drummer Russel are so arresting that they almost detract from Gorillaz' music.

The amazing "Thriller"-meets-Planet of the Apes clip for "Clint Eastwood" is so visually clever that it's easy to take the song's equally clever, hip-hop-tinged update of the Specials' "Ghost Town" for granted. And initially, Gorillaz' self-titled debut feels incomplete when Hewlett's imagery is removed; the concept of Gorillaz as a virtual band doesn't hold up as well when you can't see the virtual bandmembers. It's too bad that there isn't a DVD version of Gorillaz, with videos for every song, à la the DVD version of Super Furry Animals' Rings Around the World.

Musically, however, Gorillaz is a cutely caricatured blend of Albarn's eclectic Brit-pop and Nakamura's equally wide-ranging hip-hop, and it sounds almost as good as the band looks. Albarn has fun sending up Blur's cheeky pop on songs like "5/4" and "Re-Hash," their trip-hop experiments on "New Genious" and "Sound Check," and "Song 2"-like thrash-pop on "Punk" and "M1 A1.
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