Well here we go, my first review. I have been meaning to do one for a while and this looked like the best opportunity.
This album arrived in the post this morning, along with Maximo Park's new one, of while I shall do a review on when I can too.
Gorillaz were an orinigal music concept who burst onto the music scene in the UK in spring 2001 with the hit 'Clint Eastwood,' which some would say over-shadowed the actual album they released soon afterwards. Behind the amazing imaginative graphics created by Jamie Hewlett, the music was composed on the first album mainly by the two artists; Damon Albarn from Blur (who sings as 2D) and Dan 'The Automator' Nakamura, whom pulled the whole project together.
However, 2005 brings about a new era in the Gorillaz life, with Nakamura out, and DJ Dangermouse, whom is most famous for mixing together Jay Z's black album with Beatles' White Album, to create the 'Grey Album.' With the new team assembled, they embarked on the recording of 'Demon Days.'
End of the crap, heres the Album:
1. Intro : As intros go on albums, there is nothing that can be really said either way, with an interesting mix of strings and mixed voices, its a nice atmospheric build up to the first main track of the album.
2. Last Living Souls : This is a great introduction, with quite a slow feel, which seems to be the theme of the album. The bass in this song is very catchy, once again a theme throughout, and off a good set of speakers, there is a great feel to it. Damon's voice is first heard too, and although there is not much lyric to the song, his voice adds to the atmosphere. 9/10 - Top notch song.
3. Kids with Guns : Another pretty simple, almost instrumental song, carrying I guess a strong message behind it, placed into a rather comical fashion. The bass is very noteable, and a nice peaceful guitar riff amongst the use of backing vocals and the 'easy does it' breakdown is incredibly catchy. 8/10
4. O Green World - Another instrumental type song, like its predecessor. This song is slightly more up-tempo than the first two tracks, and features a greater use of Damon's lyrics. Dj Dangermouse does a good job of creating a solid backing drum track, that fits with the feel of the song very well. Perhaps slightly repetitive by the end, but its a nice background track, if listening to the album straight through.
7.5/10 - Perhaps one of the weaker tracks, but still very nice.
5. Dirty Harry - The first of my favourites off the album, based obviously on the Clint Eastwood film title, a very nice bassline carries this song right through. The first use of the backing choir/chorus that is evident in later tracks, adds to the feel of the track well, providing a tune that stays in your head for a while. The break down at 2.00 leads into a intense rap by Bootie Brown, which adds a nice change to the song, and fits well. 9.5/10 - A very, very good track.
6. Feel Good Inc. - Well I won't spend too long on this track, as its the one thats been released, by I was completely taken aback by this song (especially the bassline) and the intrancing video. The addition of De La Soul works very well, and the breakdowns with 'windmill, windwall' are very nice, and add variety. 10/10 - The song that made me pre-order this album
7. El Manana - My favourite slower track off the album at the moment, the rather slow 'trip-hop' beat used by Dangermouse works well with the slow tempo of the track, and Damon's mesmorising vocals help this song along very well, with a great chorus and use of samples. 9/10
8. Every Planet we reach is dead - Well, a funky introduction with the bass and electric guitar starts this song off very well. The use of backing singers works incredibly well in this song with Damon's voice, and I actaully enjoy the lyrics in this, with the theme of the song being very interesting. This is also the longest track on the album, and unlike 'O Green World,' which gets repetitive, this song manages to hold the interest right to the end, with the 'jazz' feel and varying instruments. 9.5/10 - My favourite 'instrumental-type' track.
9. November has come - This is one of the weaker songs on the album, or perhaps I have just skipped over it whilst listening, but apart from Martina Topley Bird's deep voice between Damon's, its a pretty plain peaceful soul track that doesn't last long. 6.5/10 - A nice track, but again one of the weaker ones.
10. All Alone - Another candidate for my favourite song off the album, the brilliant riff at the beginning with the use of vocal sample adds to a great start (the voice is sped up, but is not used excessivly like Akon or Kanye West,) so it doesn't get annoying. With Dangermouses slightly more 'breakbeat' rhythm of this song, comes the great rapping skills of Roots Manuva who adds so much to this track and manages to successfully challenge De La Soul's efforts on Feel Good Inc. Theres a nice break half way, which then goes back into the main tune. 10/10 - I believe this should be the next released song.
11. White Light - Another 'filler' track like November has come, although I prefer the more up-tempo feel of this track until it dies again half way (although it comes back again), but I guess it adds variety to the feel of the album. Nothing amazingly special, but a solid 'fill' track lasting just over two minutes, although I get the feeling these two tracks were placed in between some of the best on purpose. 8/10.
12. Dare - This was the first track when I listened to the album first that hit me in the balls, with the great 'Its Dare' introduction in a London accent, this song holds together so well. The bass line is once again top-notch, and the funky up-beat feel is used with great vocal lines that work in and out of each other very well. 10/10 - A great 'head-nodding' track, that lasts its well deserved 4 minutes.
13. Fire coming out of the Monkey's Head - Well this is a strange track...but I love it! The three minute track tells the story of a strange occurence in a peaceful community, with the story-words of Dennis Hopper throughout. Dangermouse provides a great backing for Hopper, with a solid beat and catchy bass and guitar line, and vocals; in a way which reminds me of tracks of the orinigal album, perhaps the 'typical' Gorillaz sound now. Damon provides a great use of vocal and guitar in the breakdowns between readings. This song is great fun. 9.5/10
14. Don't Get lost in Heaven - Well this is a short 'interlude' is a good use of the Gospel choir is features, and does literally make you feel up in the sky. Theres not that much to say, but it manages in my opinion, to beat tracks 9 & 11 as a 'interlude' track between the longer songs. 8.5/10 - a new peacful 'calm-down' to the album.
15. Demon Days - Well we have finally got there, the final track of the album, and its the same as the album title, wow. It is a nice track, but very annoyingly, isn't the end to this great, solid album I would have hoped for, with quite a mixed, slow-tempo and atomospheric ending, although the now typical way to end albums, could have been produced better to leave the listener with something to remeber. It does pick up a rather 'reggae' feel, with the use of the gospel choir again, like track 14 and I guess its a 'nice' ending. 7.5/10 - Not one of my favourites, but its a peaceful track.
Well that's it, sorry it was a bit long, but I have been listening to this all day, and have enjoyed it thoroughly. By the way! You HAVE to check out the art-work in cover, every track as its on 'sheet,' of which have been excellently drawn.