A new, "Gorillaz," album has just been released and getting solid reviews. Titled, "Cracker Island," I have not yet checked it out but plan to do so. Before the Gorillaz built up a crazy and complex mythology, however, they were just a zany concept with some cool tunes on their self-titled debut LP. Way back in 2001 Damon Albarn, Del the Funky Homosapien, Dan the Automator and Kid Koala worked together to give us a surreal sonic blend, and comic creator Jamie Hewlett brought it all home with his unique illustrations. Since the first LP a wide range of musical collaborators have been involved, books have come out detailing the sprawling story of Gorillaz, multimedia projects made, and movies planned (then canceled)--it is a lot. Travel back to 2001, however, with just that first album, and it still rocks.
"Gorillaz," has a mix of genres from some pop rock to rapping (Clint Eastwood remains a classic), weirdly experimental tracks, and there really isn't a track I skip when I listen as the whole LP is good fun. It was a strange idea Albarn and Hewlett had to make a band that was so commercial and fake that it truly didn't exist, and that lark gifted us something quite special. Even if, "Demon Days," was what really catapulted the Gorillaz into the stratosphere for popularity, the debut holds a special place in my heart.