G-Sides Album reviews.
Release Date: 02.26.02
Record label: Virgin
Genre(s): Rap, Hip-Hop, R&B, etc.
Monkeys in the Jungle
by: bill aicher
With the release of their self-titled album less than a year ago, Gorillaz finally made the statement "Animated bands are cool" true. Such ill-conceived ideas such as The Archies and Josie and the Pussycats were forgotten, and an imaginary world was created. One that had some cool-as-shit tunes to boot.
They've only just started their U.S. in support of their self-titled album recently, yet they've already released a second album. True, G-Sides really is more of a companion piece to the first than a followup, since it consists of a collection of remixes and previously released B-Sides. But on the other hand, they're some damned good B-Sides and remixes.
The disc opens with the Soulchild remix of "19-2000" - the version they've been playing on the radio. It's quite a bit faster than the album version, making it more friendly for pop radio. Those who've heard the song on the radio will be happy to know they can finally get their grubby paws on it in cd format.
The English version of "Latin Simone" follows, featuring Damon Albarn on vocals this time around. It's definitely an improvement over the original. The Wiseguys remix of "19-2000," however, is not. Featuring a few samples from the original pasted over a steady 4/4 house beat, this remix is by far the biggest disappointment on the album.
The brightest gems on G-Sides are by far the rereleased B-Sides, especially the hip-hop edged "The Sounder" featuring rhymes by Phi Life Cypher and a strung-out falsetto hook from 2-D (Albarn). Japanese vocals populate "Faust" - a track with a mean bassline (an obvious favorite for Murdoc).
A remix of Clint Eastwood featuring all new vocals - raps from Phi Life Cypher - showcases some stellar rhyming skills, while the trip-hop spiritual of "Ghost Train" takes the Gorillaz to territories left previously unexplored by the band.
G-Sides could easily be overlooked as something only the biggest Gorillaz fans could appreciate. But don't be misled, most of the tracks are just as good as those found on their debut. The group just doesn't seem to make any bad songs. 07-Mar-2002 4:15 PM