ZOMG?!?!?!?!?! must get this asap. asappp.
What makes Gorillaz so interesting isn’t just the music, or the idea of a fictional band; if it were, then the Archies would’ve been the basis for all pop since the late 1960s. Instead, it’s that the project refuses to recognize boundaries; it’s not just about the music, but also the videos and stories that accompany them. Co-creator Jamie Hewlett works with Cass Browne, former member of the Senseless Things – the band that gave Hewlett his first record sleeve illustration gig, back during the Tank Girl days – and current Gorillaz touring band member, on writing the material. And this writing is given as much importance in the project as musician and co-creator Damon Albarn.
Musically and creatively, boundaries are ignored; the new album pushes Super Furry Animals frontman Gruff Rhys together with De La Soul, includes other guests from Lou Reed and the rhythm section of the Clash to Little Dragon and the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, while the backstory skips between genres (pirates and cyborg clones and the end of the world oh my) and continually reinvents the characters and their surroundings. Are the fictional characters less important than the real musicians? Do fans care that they’re not real any more than the characters in Lost aren’t real? – Gorillaz defies easy description, pigeon-holing and gimmickry. We’re not sure if they really are the future of music, but it’s a future of music we’d definitely like to see.