Pop quiz: name the four members of Gorillaz.
Nearly twenty years after their creation by Britpop war vet Damon Albarn and indie comic book artist Jamie Hewlett, the cartoon angle of the pop art project has never quite factored into the group’s fandom, which hasn’t stopped them from outselling Albarn’s previous band by millions of copies.
A cartoon band wasn’t quite a novel idea—though one imagines what the Archies might have been like with Gorillaz’s star power—but Albarn did expertly anticipate the 21st century’s iTunes shuffle aesthetic/ omnivore producer trend with the project, finding peers with Diplo, Danger Mouse, Dr.
A music festival in and of itself, the roster includes stars such as Grace Jones, Kelela, Mavis Staples, Pusha T, Vince Staples, Danny Brown, D.R.A.M., Savages’ Jenny Beth, Benjamin Clementine and Jamie Principle, who all lend Gorillaz their voices.
Rather than strike a balance, Albarn only dilutes the anger, the aural equivalent of saying “All lives matter.” For all the talk paid to how Humanz is Gorillaz’s dance album, the beats generally don’t quite scan as such.