2017 has been the year of remarkable comebacks, hip hop has fully embraced whimsical flutes, Future finally switched back into hype mode with HNDRXX and even Sonic 06 doesn’t seem all bad following an incredible sample on Drake X Giggs banger ‘KMT’. Now, Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett are next in line for a full recovery following the Christmas ruining, midi nightmare The Fall.
Last night, Gorillaz shocked nobody (thx leaks) by dropping four tracks, a promise of their next studio album, Humanz, coming out on April 28th and a too-many-exciting-names-too-mention-omg features list.
Of the four tracks on offer, only the Vince Staples featuring ‘Ascension’ is a real misstep, which is tough for us to say given UTM likes to think of itself as Vince’s unofficial fanclub. Vince remain characteristically rapid and hard hitting, but he’s at war with a nervously hurried and too busy instrumental, however the track still shows flashes of greatness, once the instrumental settles down for Damon’s vocal. ‘We Got The Power’ is a “this shouldn’t work” moment bringing Savages’ Jehnny Beth into one of the most uplifting tracks Gorillaz have ever made, with a charming mix of an addictive hook and Jehnny’s hyper, inspiring proclamations.
‘Andromeda’ brings in D.R.A.M for an otherworldly track that combines playful synths, a neat bass groove and a wild array of voices, which continues the central link between these tracks, the awe-inspiring use of choirs and group vocals.
However, the true hero of the tracks on offer is ‘Saturnz Barz’ which is accompanied with a video that provides real spookz. Here, you’ll find Popcann swapping out his usual danceable sunshine for a sinister patois over a house of ghostly wails, skeleton synths and a sluggish rumble.
Both unique and familiar, these new tracks prove that Gorillaz are paying attention to the greatest young names around and pulling them into their musical world, crafting something special with the results. While the track list continues to delve into the diverse history of music with guest spots from Mavis Staples and Anthony Hamilton. This tells us that Humanz is showing signs of being yet another wonderful album to add to the Gorillaz discography, lets just hope Damon left his iPad at home this time.