Humanz, the first studio album we’re seeing from virtual band Gorillaz in seven years is chalk full of guest spots. The bigger names include Grace Jones, Zebra Katz, Popcaan, Vince Staples, Pusha T and Danny Brown. With a roster like this, one would expect another huge album like Demon Days. Alas, Humanz falls a touch flat compared to other records in the Gorillaz universe. An especially disappointing moment comes with the entrance of Grace Jones (who is normally an absolute goddess) to album. She laughs maniacally over choppy guitars saying “I am the ghost”. What are you the ghost of Frau Jones? Disco past?
There are, of course, beautiful little pools of creative genius in Humanz that we have to cherish if our faith in Gorillaz is to remain in tact. Popcaan brings that same Jamaican feel to ‘Saturnz Barz’ that we fell in love with on Jamie xx’s 2015 summer banger ‘I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times)’. Another gem can be found in the melancholy croons and the atmospheric synths of ‘Busted and Blue’.
At the end of the day Humanz is still a Gorillaz record. They’ve always given us gloomy yet danceable albums to throw on during good times, hard times and end times. And we’ll always love them for that.
The virtual outlaws 2-D, Murdoc, Noodle and Russel Hobbs will be rocking through Berlin on November 11th at Max-Schmeling-Halle. No matter what era Gorillaz fan you are, you know it’s going to be a feel good time.