Given that Blur frontman Damon Albarn and visual artist Jamie Hewlett always intended Gorillaz to be a virtual/imaginary band, with cartoon characters as members, it’s amazing how much real-world attention is given to tours and studio releases by this increasingly physical project. Their fifth studio album, Humanz
, features collaborations ranging from Grace Jones and Mavis Staples to De La Soul. Albarn wanted the lyrics and ambiance of the album to reflect a post-Brexit/post-Trump dystopia, but the politics and consciousness of the album still seem less explicit than Gorillaz’ 2005 Demon Days
. Rather than searching for immediate headline references in “I Switched My Robot Off” or “Sex Murder Party,” it might be best to treat a Gorillaz album as the sonic equivalent of a Neil Gaiman or Philip K. Dick novel, one that documents, with offbeat humor, a world gone horribly wrong.
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Kasabian, Blur, Flying Lotus