- 28 Apr 17
Cracking return from animated quartet
For his latest outing with Gorillaz, Damon Albarn set himself the challenge of “making a party record for end of the world.” He has succeeded admirably with Humanz which, for all of the anxiety that stalks the album, contains a defiant optimism badly needed in these fraught political times.
As ever with Gorillaz, the record is masterfully produced, with Albarn assembling a Galacticos-style array of A-list guest contributors. Vince Staples delivers a wonderful rap on ‘Ascension’, which touches on America’s racial tensions; there’s a typically attitudinal appearance on ‘Charger’ from the incomparable Grace Jones; and Danny Brown excels on the atmospheric ‘Submission’, which fascinatingly marks the first ever Gorillaz co-write for Albarn’s Blur bandmate Graham Coxon.
At the heart of the album are three surefire hits. Leading the way is ‘Andromeda’, which has an irresistible pitch: Albarn has said that it’s his attempt to write an ’80s-style pop classic in the vein of ‘Bille Jean’ and ‘I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)’. Remarkably, he has succeeded, with the song’s scintillating groove topped off by a memorable chorus (“Take it in your heart now, lover”).