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Release Date: 06.19.01
Record label: Virgin
Genre(s): Rap, Hip-Hop, R&B, etc.


Fresh For All You Suckas
by: tom reiter

It would be the understatement of the decade to say the the current state of music is pitiful. Re-hashed, uncreateive pop anthems dominate the charts, creative underground is misunderstood by the masses and forced into mainstream status. The music industry has been looking for a savior of sorts to resurrect the souls that believe there is hope for a better music tomorrow.

Insert: Gorillaz.

Part britpop, part hip-hop, part dub, fully experimental.

Gorillaz is the mastermind of Dan "The Automator" Nakamura (Handsome Boy Modeling School and Deltron 3030, among others). Portrayed as a band of animated characters, courtesy of Jamie Hewlett (Tank Girl),a.k.a. Murdoc, the "group" has it's own story of how it all came together as told on their website. The vocals of David Albarn (2-D) of Blur are splashed among the guitar of Cibo Matto's Miho Hatori (Noodle), the bass of Hewlett, and the bouncy rhymes of Del Tha Funky Homosapien (Russel). Naknamura also manages to pull in the influences of Kid Koala and Ibrahim Ferrer to help out.

The first hit to come from Gorillaz is "Clint Eastwood," which is more to the likes of Deltron 3030, thanks to Del's trademark flow and witty lyrics. Albarn's wafty voice on the refrain "I ain't happy, I'm feelin glad, I've got sunshine, in a bag..." gives "Clint Eastwood" the fun flair that makes it so likeable. But the fun doesn't stop there. The Gorillaz will lead you down a path that varies from the dark, harshness of "M1A1" to the playful, loopy "19/2000." The most noteable treasure is "Slow Country." Reggae melted over dub, "Slow Country" is Albarn's highest moment. Unfortunately, his falsetto gets used a little to often during the course of the album.

The only problem with all this diversity is finding a suitable home. Fans with open minds will embrace the Gorillaz, others will stow it away after the hype dies. Either way, the Gorillaz have created something entirely new and fresh that is here to save us all.