Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Gorillaz - Demon Days

Demon Days is the second studio album from the fictitious band Gorillaz. However, behind the characters that represent Gorillaz the creators of the band Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett have been hard at work making the follow up to their successful self titled debut.

The album itself doesn't stray very far from the first album musically, with lots of hip hop beats driven by thumping bass lines and generally catchy lyrics. It really is a fool proof schematic that has propelled the Gorillaz world wide. They have even started performing live with a series of musicians standing for the animated members and with the cartoons on a screen behind the live musicians. Perhaps not a first, but its always awesome to see something like that.

After a short introduction to the album, Demon Days offers the tremendously catchy Last Living Souls. The song is a good example of what the band will offer throughout the whole album: lots of drum beats and catchy lyrics. However, this particular song has one awesome build up with a collection of strings that make this one of my favorite tracks.

But it's after this first song where the album loses a lot of focus. Tracks like O Green World and Kids With Guns feel slightly meaningless in the album, and almost like filler material. Endless droning on over the same pattern just really makes me feel bored. And the song Dirty Harry, despite being a minor single from the album fails to garner any interest either. The song suffers from the same endless musical pattern that just becomes torturous to listen to. However, if you can make it to the rap section in the second half of the song this track really does pick up.

The big hit from the album Feel Good Inc. comes on next and always makes me feel awesome. I love that bass line, and the second section of this song really adds a lot of variety to this song that most of the other songs on the album really lack. One of my absolutely favorite things about this song is the great rapping from De La Soul. He is just so good at rapping I don't know why they don't just ask him to be a permanent member of their group. But I digress, Feel Good Inc. is an awesome song and it always will be.

From here on out the album really mellows out. The track El Manana is terribly droney, but I still like to listen to it occasionally. It is very reminiscent of a Spanish style song, but it is pretty sad as well. Things continue at a slow place with Every Planet We Reach Is Dead and November Has Come. Both are driven by this rather annoying clapping and just doesn't do it for me. They both feel like more filler material to me.

Things do pick up pretty quickly though after the second half of the album. I love the songs All Alone and White Light. They both are very original tracks and try to change up their sound before things get too repetitive. I also particularly like the chant of White Light before it leads into the other big hit of the album, DARE.

DARE is an awesome dance track, with a neat video of Noodle dancing around in her room with the giant disembodied head of Shaun Ryder (of the band Happy Mondays) in her closet. It's a bit strange, but it's an awesome dance song that shockingly never gets stale, and its easy to see why it was such a big hit all over. Even my dad liked it!

But after that song, the album is really done for me. The rest of the songs, Fire Coming Out of the Monkey's Head, Don't Get Lost In Heaven and the title track are too long, drawn out and just plain boring. I just don't like listening to them. Which is a shame to end an album in such a predictable way.

So while Demon Days at certain points is an awesome album, too many of the songs are just plain boring and drawn out. For such a successful band I really feel like they should be trying harder to write more creative music that will challenge their wide fan base. I really hope to see better song writing on their next album and hopefully more upbeat songs like Feel Good Inc.

God I love that song.


simon said...

de la are 3 people!

posdnous, dave and maseo/mase.

good review though.

damon albarn is close to genius.

warnakey said...

haha, yeah, you got me.

Thanks for your comment though!

I have no idea who Damon Albarn is.