When the studio group Gorillaz first released records way back in ancient times – what, the late 1990’s – I wasn’t sure what to expect. The songs were a mixture of R&B, rap, funk, deep groove – with a premise that four animated simians were creating the tracks. Yeah, think The Archies or The Chipmunks or the Groovie Ghoulies or something like that.
But here’s the thing. Gorillaz won me over. Even though their LP’s were released about once every Presidential administration, the tracks that came from them were really ear-catching. And if you could get past the whole “monkeys make music” theme – which still kinda rubs me the wrong way – you get some really great ear candy.
For example … here’s Gorillaz’ newest release, a summer song called “Humility.” Close your eyes any time you see Jack Black in this video and the song improves.
Another new track from Gorillaz, “Hollywood,” features some toasting from everyoine’s second-favorite cannabis enthusiast – Willie Nelson being the first – Snoop Lion.
See, Gorillaz have been making this kind of trippy-dippy music for ages. All the way back to their first radio hit, “Clint Eastwood,” which I don’t even think mentioned Clint Eastwood’s name at any time in the song.
Another track from that first Gorillaz album, “19-2000,” also received some considerable radio and club airplay.
This track from 2010, “Stylo,” features guest appearances by Mos Def and Bobby Womack, of all people. And it works, believe it or not.
Although this video is called ‘Dirty Harry,” I can’t decide if the Gorillaz are channeling Mad Max: Fury Road or Damnation Alley – neither of which starred Clint Eastwood.
And finally, here’s Gorillaz’ biggest radio hit in the United States, the loopy, deep track “Feel Good Inc.”
So yeah, if you can get past the arguably brilliant yet disturbing music videos … the songs themselves are really cool. Sort of like enjoying an OK Go song without watching the accompanying music video. 😀
But maybe the OK Go tracks are for another K-Chuck Radio broadcast. Amirite?