Song Machine: Gorillaz 2020 album review

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Photo via Warner Records

Album cover for “Song Machine”

Grace Nerwinski, The Delphi Staff

The band, Gorillaz, released their new album, Song Machine, on October 23, 2020.

Gorillaz is a virtual band from the UK established in 1998 by musician Damon Albarn and artist Jamie Hewlett. The band features virtual characters named 2-D, Murdoc Niccals, Noodle, and Russel Hobbs.

Song Machine includes various genres including alternative rock, R&B, and indie rock.

I was so excited for this album to come out since Gorillaz is one of my favorite bands. I’ve been listening to their music since I was in middle school, but they’ve been around since the early 2000’s. Since I’m pretty open minded when it comes to music, I tend to give every artist a chance.

This album contains many impressive guests, which give every song a different sound. The first song on Song Machine, “Season One: Strange Timez” starts off with “Strange Timez” featuring Robert Smith. The song gave me a dark, creepy vibe and I didn’t like it at first, but I continued listening to the song. The song soon started to pick up to a synth-pop, which I really enjoyed.

Next up on the album is “The Valley of Pagans” featuring Beck. This is one of my favorite songs on the album. The song starts off with upbeat drums and a catchy bass line. The artist, Beck, sounds very charismatic in this song, and I really think that he was a good pick for the song.

The next song, “The Lost Chord,” is definitely a big switch in tone from the previous song. “The Lost Chord” starts off with an eerie introduction with Leee John narrating over the music. Later on, the song switches smoothly to a groovy beat, which was very unexpected. I think that Leee John’s voice worked really well with the calm beat of the song.

Next on the album is another one of my favorites, “Pac-Man” featuring ScHoolboy Q. As soon as the song started playing, I knew it was going to be one of my favorites. The music reminded me of a video game, which is what the artists were going for. When I listened to the lyrics, it sounded like the artists wanted to level-up in the world, like in a video game.

The next song is “Chalk Tablet Towers.” The song features St. Vincent who delivers bright vocals to the peculiar beat. It reminds me of an 80’s song because of the electronic and synth beat. The song didn’t really catch on to me at first, but the more I listened to it, the more I started to enjoy it.

Next is “The Pink Phantom” with the legendary Elton John and 6lack. When I saw that Elton John was a part of this song, I was so excited to listen to it. His powerful voice definitely blended well with the ballad. This is definitely another one of my favorite songs.

“Aries,” which is the next song, features Peter Hook and Georgia. The song starts off with a really nice bass line which definitely caught my attention. The lyrics of the song are bittersweet, but they go along well with the music.

Next up, “Dead Butterflies” featuring Kano and Roxana Arias, has another interesting song name. The beginning of the song starts off with Damon Albarn asking to “loop the piano part,” which leads into a sweet, sentimental chorus delivered by Albarn’s character, 2D. Roxana Arias takes over briefly and switches over from English to Spanish. Kano begins his verse after and flows wonderfully with the song. This is yet another one of my favorites.

“Desolé” featuring Fatoumata Diawara was actually the second song I heard off of the album. The song is very bright and upbeat. The song includes multiple languages: English, French, and Bambara, which is the national language of Mali. The song is genuinely just a really nice song to sit back and listen to.

“Desolé” a word which is heard throughout the song actually means “sorry” in French. Fatoumata explained that she wanted to apologize to her friends and family for not being around often because of her job during Gorillaz live stream on YouTube called “Gorillaz – Song Machine With Friendz.”

The first song that I heard from the album, “Momentary Bliss,” features Slowthai and Slaves. When I was listening to the song, I got so excited when it started to pick up. The song is very energetic and sounds like a 90’s punk song that makes me smile every time I listen to it. Overall, I think the entire album is so enjoyable to listen to. The song always puts me in such a good mood.

All of the songs attract different people with different music tastes considering all of the unique tones each song has, and you should definitely give it a listen.