Gorillaz - Gorillaz
Gorillaz Image
Metascore
71

Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics What's this?

User Score
9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 139 Ratings

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  • Summary: Forget concept albums; this is a concept band. Formed by Dan "The Automator" Nakamura, Del tha Funkee Homosapien, Blur's Damon Albarn, Cibo Matto's Miho Hatori, and the Tom Tom Club's Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz (with visuals by "Tank Girl" creator Jamie Hewlett), the Gorillaz are a "virtual" hip-hop outfit of cartoon characters based somewhere in the future. Hey, we don't make this stuff up; we just report it. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. 100
    Cleverly mixes soft-focus hip-hop, trippy space rock and Ennio Morricone-style melodrama with Albarn's unwavering pop melodies.
  2. Albarn is the melodious voice of western pop tradition throughout; at first you might think his are the barmy brains behind this band, but it's just not so. His loose-kneed vocals are like pop tarts in this bumbling hip-hop parade, but it's the bumble that makes the rumble.
  3. The slow rumble of Nakamura's production, Hewlett's outstanding graphic model, even Albarn himself all fuse into a convincing gestalt.
  4. 70
    What could have been hipster reach is multiculti grasp of the sweetest kind. [Jun 2001, p.148]
  5. Much of the album has the odd, rehashed sound of a Blur record produced by the Automator, but the diverse guests keep at least every other song fresh and new.
  6. Inspired by the punky reggae parties of Sandinista!-era Clash, tracks like the dub-rap-rock mutation "Clint Eastwood" and its catchier two-step Rasta remix bring back the exuberance missing from Blur's last album, 13, while running with its anything-goes avant-aesthetic.
  7. It's what you might expect from a bunch of musos playing with Cubase or ProTools: sampled loops, Brixton dub, trip-hoppy tangents. U.N.K.L.E.'s bratty nephew, really, though the album sounds like the group locked the metronome on "heavy funk groove"--chugging and satisfying at first, it feels exhausted by the fifth or sixth track.

See all 18 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 63 out of 65
  2. Negative: 1 out of 65
  1. Jul 8, 2014
    10
    This is a terrific album because in each song you get a different genre and you can tell thay they experimented with trip hop. And they get really imaginitive with the songs espicially with "Clint Eastwood.". Expand
  2. Mar 26, 2013
    10
    The outstanding debut album of the concept band Gorillaz. This is definitely their most underground-sounding album, with mostly very alternative rock-ish tracks, but with some soaring and catchy hip-hop moments "Clint Eastwood" and "Rock The House" featuring out-of-this-world rhymes from Del Tha Funkee Homosapien( of Deltron 3030 and Hieroglyphics) and some head bopping pop favorites "19-2000" and "Slow Country" all with superb production by Dan The Automater(of Handsome Boy Modeling School, Lovage, etc.) This was the first Gorillaz album I ever heard, and I'm still hooked. The first of many incredible works of art that are Gorillaz albums. Expand
  3. Jun 6, 2013
    10
    Although it took me 12 years to listen to it, The Gorillaz debut with the former Blur star is a huge hit. Most notably Clint Eastwood helps carry this amazing album to a decade great. Expand
  4. Oct 1, 2010
    9
    A very innovative and amazing album by Gorillaz. If you like rock, pop and hip-hop, then this is a must-have. Once again, Damon Albarn does a great job at bringing something new and fresh. Expand
  5. Jan 5, 2011
    9
    Amazing CD. It contains almost anything good that could be on a CD. Creative lyrics, a sound like no other band out there. Definitely one to buy. 10/10. Expand
  6. Oct 19, 2010
    9
    Having had a decade to dwell on the Gorillaz--I've decided they are VASTLY underrated. The basis for critical attack being the very concept itself--that the concept band is (as P4K wrote) "smarmy, promotional gimmick." I tend to disagree. Instead, I submit that Gorillaz is the fulfillment of every artistic aspiration--humane creativity, comraderie, collaboration, and recognition. Taking a wider view of the decade that was Gorillaz...it is now clear that Damon Albarn's vision is the clearest--to work with, for, and support friends and fellow artist--with a somewhat cohesive songwriterly basis in Albarn's brain....Gorillaz is the social network of bands--bringing together disparate influences and players. Since this record came out Gorillaz has proven that the spirit of amalgamation is long-term viable (on Demon Days, Plastic Beach and the 2010 tour) collaboration, having included members of Lou Reed, Snoop Dogg, The Clash, De La Soul, Shawn Ryder (Happy Mondays), Ike Turner, Bobby Womack, and many individual performers some quite famous.

    As to the record at hand, you have to get dub/ska to really get it. Dub, as handed down from Lee "Scratch" Perry, The Specials, and The Clash (esp. on Sandinista!, Gorillaz are Son of Sandinista!). Anyhow, the thematic accuracy of overlooked tracks like "New Genious", "Man Research", "Tomorrow Comes Today", and "Starshine" are the area where Gorilaz contribute their breakthrough (this is amplified on the side project "Gorillaz vs. Spacemonkeyz....cf. Mutant Genious).
    Expand
  7. Jan 6, 2011
    6
    A pretty alright debut. Nothing like Demon Days but it's still a solid debut. "Tomorrow Comes Today" is a great track. "Clint Eastwood" is my favorite on the album. It mixes a blend of music all together and it's a good concept. The second half falls a little flat though. It could've been better. All In All, While not the best record ever, Gorillaz 's self-titled debut album is a good jam to listen too sometimes. B- Expand

See all 65 User Reviews

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    With the Gorillaz' third album "Plastic Beach" hitting stores next week, we take a moment to look at all of the artists who have contributed to the virtual band's success.