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Love the new Gorillaz video
October 4, 2001 2:45 PM   Subscribe

Love the new Gorillaz video (in Cinema section. Warning: Shockwave intensive). But is it me, or is their music just a bit so-so? And rejecting the Mercury Music Prize was just petulant.
posted by Summer (40 comments total)

 
Gorillaz music is not so-so, it's great! The CD is like listening to a good mix, rather than a monotonous collection of the same basic song over and over. The guests on the album add much to the eclectic mix too.
posted by jonah at 2:54 PM on October 4, 2001


The music really is quite average - aimed at early teens. Albarn was always into the 'la la la's' anyway, but he just gets more banal all the time. Respect to him for at least trying something a bit different though.
posted by boneybaloney at 2:55 PM on October 4, 2001


It just sounds to me like it should be really great, but somehow it isn't. A bit like Blur in fact.
posted by Summer at 2:59 PM on October 4, 2001


Gorillaz are okay. Handsome Boy Modeling School was better. (requires flash)
posted by eyeballkid at 3:02 PM on October 4, 2001


Damon Albarn is amazing :) Any guy who moons Michael Jackson in the middle of Michael's dance routine at some award show has my vote.
posted by riffola at 3:10 PM on October 4, 2001


I've been listening to Gorillaz a lot lately. Finally something has come along that isn't
f*cking idiot sugar pop like Britney or Mandy or *NSync or mindless alterna punkish junk like Built to Suck or even more mindless techno.

But I guess the music scene is just more bleak here in the States than it is in the UK.

Oh wait! That can't be true! You guys invented the idiot sugar pop with the likes of Spicemania! Thanks!
posted by raintea at 3:17 PM on October 4, 2001


I wonder how many people I just offended...hmmmm....
posted by raintea at 3:17 PM on October 4, 2001


You didn't *offend* me raintea but your comment speaks to your naivete. Gorillaz isn't the first band to ever come along and play good music. They are just the first you have heard because you watch too much MTV, apparently.


And how are Built to Spill alterna-punk???
posted by TiggleTaggleTiger at 3:31 PM on October 4, 2001


raintea-I'm offended! How dare you insult the Holy Works of St. Marsch!! While the new album isn't quite up to snuff,
there are many brilliant songs in the catalog...
posted by black8 at 3:38 PM on October 4, 2001


Gorillaz is an allright band. However, I think that they're playing a big part in making others realize that there's more to music than just "HARDCORE BLINK 182 ESQUE RIFFS" and "DURSTESQUE RANTS." The revolution of people slowly weaning away from pop and doing their own thing. At this point though, Gorillaz is still considered pop in my book. When radio stations start playing some good Downtempo or DnB, then I'll be impressed.
For now, I'll stick to my shoutcast and gigs of MP3s.
posted by starduck at 3:41 PM on October 4, 2001


The Gorillaz are good in a "they're just hip enough so that I won't be completely mainstream if I like them" sort of way. Seriously, though, it's a fun, summer disc full of nice beats and meaningless lyrics. And I'd much rather see them at the top of the charts than some more boy bands.

Snuffing the Mercury Awards, though, isn't probably too big of a deal to either them or their record label. First off, they've probably already sold more copies than they thought they would. Second, although the winner of the Mercury notices a boost in sales, I'm sure the press they get from snubbing will sell them a couple copies as well.

Oh, also I'll like to agree with you TiggleTaggleTiger, that there are tons of good bands out there besides the Gorillaz. I could name 50 or so (that don't get any MTV play) off the top of my head, but I don't want to bore people. Instead, I'll (warning, self link) point you in the direction of my already written opinions...
posted by almostcool at 3:43 PM on October 4, 2001


Gorillaz are a textbook case of appreciation based on a group's main audience. In the UK, they're popular with the pre-teen set, so the cognoscetti could NEVER deign to admit appreciation. In the US, Gorillaz are much more underground, so the hipsters can feel free to claim them on their own. Who cares who likes the music? If it's your thing, it should be your thing, regardless if chicks from Paramus, NJ named Krystal dig it or not...
posted by NoMoreLSAT at 3:44 PM on October 4, 2001


Here is my question: so many people bash "artists" like Britney, Mandy, Backstreet Boys, etc. for not writing their own lyrics and music. They're merely puppets meant to perform and make money. Yet when people claim that a pseudo band like Gorillaz is great, that's a hypocritical comment. Sure you might like the music, but to whom do you give credit except for marketing and capitalism? Gorillaz is the epitome of manufactured pop. If you like it, I suppose you're accepting the fact that this band doesn't even exist aside from their website and animated music videos.
posted by crog at 3:48 PM on October 4, 2001


Gorillaz is written and produced by the people who make the music. The band does in fact exist. They've done shows, even. Get your facts straight before sounding off, please, crog.

And yes I do like them. It was a great summer album. Nakamura's great, as far as I'm concerned, and he, Alburn, Del, Kid Koala, and all the others who contributed get credit.

Hewlett should also get props for putting the whole concept together. Silly pop fun that doesn't suck.
posted by sauril at 4:03 PM on October 4, 2001


no need to fight, good people. you've obviously never heard the dulcet sounds of hollywood's very own Tsar.

This music will make you all happy again.
posted by tsarfan at 4:19 PM on October 4, 2001


sauril, I do not feel as though I have mistaken any of the facts.

"Like Westlife, Gorillaz are a manufactured pop group; unlike Westlife, they don't exist, apart from on an imaginatively detailed fantasy website, and an all-action animated video." from The Guardian

"Gorillaz are about as authentic as their simian predecessors the Monkees, the group of actors whose prefabricated success seems to have first alerted the general public to the fact that everything in pop is not always what it seems." from smh.com.au

"Cos everything seems so manufactured these days, even the supposed tradition I come fron, Indie, even that's manufactured now, so we just felt 'Let's play everyone at their own game and make something better that's manufactured, that's actually good'" from the words of Damon Albarn himself
posted by crog at 4:19 PM on October 4, 2001


Of course the music's 'so so' - it's pop-music! be out the ordinary if it was anything but so so! Not to mention the heinous fact that it involves Damon Albarn. Wake up!
posted by Kino at 4:23 PM on October 4, 2001


re: mercury. This worked happily both ways. PJ Harvey gets the publicty from winnig. Which she deserves and Gorillaz get the publicity from not winning which they deserve because they are fun!

Re: putting it together. It's a Damon and Jamie team effort. Ever since they shared a house together.
posted by nedrichards at 4:28 PM on October 4, 2001


I don't believe a whole genre of music can be written off, Kino. I'm no Britney fan, but 'Hit Me Baby One More Time' was great. So was 2 become 1 by the Spice Girls. I don't think I'm making any friends here am I?
posted by Summer at 4:35 PM on October 4, 2001


Right; there's no such thing as bad music. Any music can be wonderful in the right context. Music with no tune sung by someone who can't sing can be wonderful, as much as the polar opposite can be awful. Pop can be awesome; 'I Want It That Way', 'Baby..', various Kylie, etc.. as can Beefheart, John Shuttleworth, Slipknot, Moldy Peaches, Billy Joel.... But, having said that, Gorillaz is mostly inane, half-arsed rubbish, innit? Gimmicky stuff tends to melt away that bit quicker...
posted by boneybaloney at 4:56 PM on October 4, 2001


maybe i should go and see what everyone's talking about with these gorillaz guys. i wasn't too fond of the clint eastwood song, but... yeah, i guess that isn't enough to make a judgment of them.

handsome boy modeling school? was that a prince paul production (alliterative and all.)? i've always been impressed with his work, but have only managed time for a quick glance of that one. what i saw of the tracks looked promising, but i was kind of dissapointed my the cibo matto song that i was looking forward to.

on that note, i'm all for indie rap, but i can't for the life of me understand the hype about Del! maybe when i'm in the mood, i'll try listening to some tracks again.
posted by lotsofno at 5:09 PM on October 4, 2001


gorillaz didn't turn down the mercury music prize, they turned down their nomination, and it wasn't albarn who mooned jacko, it was j. cocker.
funnily enough, gorillaz spent $20,000 making an animated acceptance speech for mtv video award, which they didn't win.
all the same they are an ace band, just the artwork for their albums and videos and website makes the project worthwhile, and some of the songs are wicked.
posted by mokey at 5:10 PM on October 4, 2001


Point taken crog.

The point I think that I'm trying to get across is that sure, they're manufactured, but the people who did the manufacturing are writing the songs, rapping the raps, doing the programming, singing, and all that. It's all well and good that Damon Alburn says that they're a manufactured band, but they didn't even have to hire a band (or a singer, or musicians), they just drew them and/or did the playing themselves.

I think that a comparison to the Monkees, who didn't write their songs and didn't even play their own instruments at the start, is off the mark.

But hey, it's just pop music...
posted by sauril at 5:10 PM on October 4, 2001


Point taken crog.

The point I think that I'm trying to get across is that sure, they're manufactured, but the people who did the manufacturing are writing the songs, rapping the raps, doing the programming, singing, and all that. It's all well and good that Damon Alburn says that they're a manufactured band, but they didn't even have to hire a band (or a singer, or musicians), they just drew them and/or did the playing themselves.

I think that a comparison to the Monkees, who didn't write their songs and didn't even play their own instruments at the start, is off the mark.

But hey, it's just pop music...
posted by sauril at 5:11 PM on October 4, 2001


whoops, server mixup, sorry for the double post.
posted by sauril at 5:11 PM on October 4, 2001


Handsome Boy Modeling School was better.

comparing apples to oranges, yo. handsome boy is dope, but it was not just del and likewise there are a lot of others involved with gorillaz. it's more of a damon albarn brainchild anyway.

say what you will--existing or no, "half-arsed rubbish", "so-so" pop, whatever-- to each his own. i say it's not the greatest cd i've ever heard to be sure, but del's a pimp and i like albarn's vision. you may not like the music, but please admit that conceptually it's cool. no?
posted by athensltd at 5:12 PM on October 4, 2001


boneybaloney: there's no such thing as bad music

On the other hand, I'm a judgmental, elitist bastard, who thinks there most certainly is such a thing as bad music, in any context, and that that category includes most of the music out there. And I love Gorillaz. So I suppose there's no accounting for taste.

It's light and playful music, performed by skilled artists who really get into the spirit of what they're doing. It pulls from several different styles and makes them all come together well. It's got a good beat and you can dance to it. I give it a 10.

And furthermore... if someone can give me a criticism of them that's more solid than "I don't like it" or "it's pop", I will take it upon myself to refute that criticism through the force of reason alone.

And now I'm going to post this quickly before I realize what I've gotten myself into.

(Oh, and yes, Handsome Boy Modelling School is also very good.)
posted by moss at 5:19 PM on October 4, 2001


Riffola: I always thought it was that other Brit scallywag, Jarvis Cocker from Pulp, who insulted Michael Jackson during the Brit Awards -- although I'd be ever so pleased to hear that it happened twice. (Somewhat on topic, I like the Gorillaz tracks I've heard thus far. Nothing amazing, but fun to listen to. Pulp's "Different Class", on the other hand, is far and away my favourite album ever.)
posted by jess at 5:23 PM on October 4, 2001


I kinda like it, but I don't love it. That's the best I can do moss. I feel exactly the same way about Parklife so I'm blaming Allbran. I've also not really loved anything for a few years. I feel it's my age (29).
posted by Summer at 5:24 PM on October 4, 2001


hey summer! you don't like gorillaz because you're too old, but you think britney and spice girls are good? interesting paradox. i'm intrigued...or something.
posted by athensltd at 5:32 PM on October 4, 2001


sauril, however the Gorillaz are not Damon Alburn, Dan Nakamura, or anybody else who lives in the flesh. The Gorillaz are the singer/keyboardist 2-D, bassist Murdoc, Russel the drummer and the guitarist Noodle. With this fine line between the puppet-work of the Gorillaz and the people who are making the music possible, I fail to see any difference between the Gorillaz and the Monkees. Behind the Monkees were just as many people working to produce their music as the number of people working on the Gorillaz. Sure, the Gorillaz avoided a theme song, along with avoiding a prefabricated sound. They may not sound fake, yet they are.

Do the names Timmy Allen, Darryl Anthony, Nikki Gregoroff, or Andres Von Hofsten ring a bell? I doubt it. Timmy Allen is Britney Spears' producer, while Darryl, Nikki, and Andres happen to be some of her vocalists. Yet they remain to be some of the people behind the music, the real people just like Damon Alburn, and Dan Nakamura.
posted by crog at 5:52 PM on October 4, 2001


athensltd: The truth is that Gorillaz is Nakamura, just like Handsome Boy Modeling School was. It's all about Automator production. Del and Miho Hatori appear on both Handsome and Gorillaz. The only addition to the Gorillaz crew is Albarn. So if I may attempt to be hip like you, check the credits, yo. It's more like comparing Mackintosh to Golden Delicious.
posted by eyeballkid at 6:10 PM on October 4, 2001


Summer: I kinda like it, but I don't love it. That's the best I can do moss.

I knew I was going to regret that challenge. Okay, if you're just going to respond to my absurd challenge with a perfectly reasonable difference in personal taste, I suppose I really can't argue. But I still dig them.

eyeballkid: Yes, Gorillaz and Handsome are both Automater productions, and they're both very obviously his work, but the two of them have very different sounds, to my ear at least. I guess I can understand athensltd's not wanting to compare them, because I like them both for different reasons.

Also, anyone who likes both of them and hasn't heard Dr. Octagon really should.

(Oh... and I prefer oranges to apples.)
posted by moss at 6:25 PM on October 4, 2001


Even if you don't like the lyrics, you have to respect how well the album is put together. Dan Nakamura and Kid Koala did a fantastic job producing.

I agree that Albarn is a wanker. The tracks I like best have Del or Miho Hatori saving the day. It is manufactured pop, but damn if it doesn't sound good.
posted by catatonic at 6:47 PM on October 4, 2001


Oh... and I prefer oranges to apples.)

Well, blue flowers to baked beans, but that's Dr Octagon fetishes for ya.
posted by Kino at 6:49 PM on October 4, 2001


What in god's name is "manufactured pop"? I've never understood the indie/mainstream controversy thing. It's all music to my ears, what does it matter who made it?
posted by owillis at 8:02 PM on October 4, 2001


Gorillaz = Pretty Creative Considering All The Other Crap. That gets 'em my vote.
posted by dopamine at 8:03 PM on October 4, 2001


what??? nobody is going to reference the intergalactic sounds of Deltron 3030?

Regardless of the origins or seriousness of Gorillaz, it's nice to hear Del and Damon (and Dan) on modern rock radio instead of that damned Staind song over and over and over and over.
posted by shoepal at 8:36 PM on October 4, 2001


Hands down... Best cartoon rock band since Josie & The Pussycats!
posted by Down10 at 12:20 AM on October 5, 2001


the guy responsible for 'the monkees' next band was a cartoon band (who looked like scooby-doo's crew), possibly josie and the pussycats. i am lead to believe that he didn't like it when the 'artists' thought they were the band. despite nesmith actually writing some of the more popular songs (not daydream believer - neil diamond).

i was suspicious of the gorilaz indie super group behaviour when i saw the advert on tv first.
1. it was shown in the middle of 'spaced' hitting the required demographic head-on.
2. it had a monkey style voice over and content.
3. they had del tha funky homosapien, sweetie irie, ed case, dan the automator and damon albarn on the same record.
4. the advert was animated by jamie hewlett.

in short they were going for me, and they knew how to get me!

luckily for my conscience i did not have to respond to the advert by buying the album. quite unexpectedly, i received a copy of the 12" clint eastwood in the post from an old friend, which i liked. but not enough to buy the album.

a brilliant excercise in marketing/pop.

hip hop is taking over the world - at last.

all those who used to laugh at grandmasters flash and mele mel, afrika bambataa and newcleus, it'll never last.
well it has! hip hop is here to stay. 20 years and counting.
it rules fashion and music. you cannot escape it's influence in modern culture, even if you try.
bwah hahahahahahahaha etc.
posted by asok at 7:31 AM on October 5, 2001


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