Gorillaz – Humanz – Parlophone & Warner Bros.
Laden with a great deal of glitzy studio production and a whole host of celebrity collaborators, return Gorillaz with Humanz, a record hard to ignore and one which is sure to push them back into the consciousness of a quick flowing mainstream.
The album doesn’t really feel like a Gorillaz album, gone is the downbeat and lazy vocal lines in favour of deep beats and a more hip-hop aesthetic. Given the copious amounts of featured artists, Albarn is sidelined for much of the material, and the record is the worse for it, his delivery being the quintessential voice of Gorillaz. Seemingly wanting to appear somewhere in between Jamie XX and Run The Jewels, Humanz lacks true identity and doesn’t appear to know what it wants to be.
In their generous 20 track album, there are tunes which will inevitably get dancehall playtime, such is the nature of their radio-friendly upbeat revival. However, the thing that made Gorillaz unique, the personalities and musical inflections of fictional, primal creatures has gone, and in dragging Gorillaz into the present day, they’ve lost the essence of their four principle characters.