Parlophone - 2001 - 63 minutes
It's been a busy two years for Damon Albarn since the last Blur album proper. Fatherhood, soundtrack work and now Gorillaz, his spare time supergroup with illustrator Jamie ('Tank Girl') Hewlett. It's where hip-hop and animation collide as Albarn creates loafer anthems for Hewlett's jagged characters with mixing desk genius Dan The Automator, Talking Head Tina Weymouth and back from the dead rapper Del Tha Funky Homosapien skulking somewhere in the background.
Don't expect to get the beat straight away, with its weighty bass and the gang's wandering deliveries, 'Gorillaz' is like your dopey mate who just won't shut up at 2am. Stick with it though, and there's plenty more where single 'Clint Eastwood' came from. 'Latin Simone' mixes mutant sway with Ibrahim Ferrer of the Buena Vista Social Club, 'Rock The House' sees Del's star burn brightest in the simian universe and 'M1A1' finds rock in a garage with a superb sample from horror flick 'Day Of The Dead'. Hardcore Blur fans may regard this as an over fussed oddity, but everyone else should wish Albarn well on his moonlighting adventures.
Tracklisting: Re-hash - 5/4 Five Four - Tomorrow Comes Today - New Genious - Clint Eastwood - Man Research - Punk - Sound Check - Double Bass - Rock The House - 19-2000 - Latin Simone - Starshine - Slow Countr - M1A1