Song Machine, Season One: Strange Timez Image
Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 15 Critic Reviews What's this?

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9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 83 Ratings

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  • Summary: The latest full-length studio release for the Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett's virtual band features music that was part of its web series and features guest appearances from 6lack, Roxani Arias, Beck, Fatoumata Diawara, Georgia, Peter Hook, Elton John, Leee John, Kano, Octavian, ScHoolboyThe latest full-length studio release for the Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett's virtual band features music that was part of its web series and features guest appearances from 6lack, Roxani Arias, Beck, Fatoumata Diawara, Georgia, Peter Hook, Elton John, Leee John, Kano, Octavian, ScHoolboy Q, Slaves, slowthai, Robert Smith, and St. Vincent. Expand
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  • Record Label: Parlophone
  • Genre(s): Rap, Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Alternative Rap, Underground Rap, Left-Field Rap
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 15
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 15
  3. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. Oct 22, 2020
    90
    Often Gorillaz records fall victim to feeling a little disjointed but with many moods and gargantuan guests here, Damon somehow manages to make ‘Strange Timez’ feel like a cohesive whole. Gorillaz can often be a hard band to define, and their records haven’t always fared well in the context they’re released in - in 2020 though, it all makes perfect sense.
  2. Oct 30, 2020
    85
    In an era that’s become too reliant on guest features and scene-stealing cameos, here the delicately-honed collaborative approach seems to bypass any kowtowing to ego. There’s an at-ease alchemy at work. That all stems from Albarn, who doesn’t crop up when he isn’t needed.
  3. Oct 21, 2020
    80
    The songwriting is sharp, and the melodies uniformly great.
  4. 80
    The only constants are Albarn’s drowsy presence, shuffling through songs as if shot in the neck with a tranquiliser dart, and the stout melodicism that makes …Strange Timez the finest Gorillaz album in a decade.
  5. 80
    Its maximalist aesthetics and musical creativity combine to make something intensely addictive and satisfying, but it’s still inherently hard to put your finger on what exactly it is.
  6. Mojo
    Oct 28, 2020
    80
    The most cohesive Gorillaz album since Demon Days 15 years ago. [Dec 2020, p.81]
  7. Oct 22, 2020
    70
    The likes of Robert Smith, Beck, St. Vincent, Elton John, 6lack, Fatoumata Diawara, and Peter Hook help pull the album away from the realm of solipsism, suggesting that even when the world is largely isolated from itself, there is still the common language of music that binds us all.

See all 15 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 23
  2. Negative: 0 out of 23
  1. Oct 23, 2020
    10
    Even though initially thought to being single episodes without necessarily planned as a album, the sequence of songs flows very well. DamonEven though initially thought to being single episodes without necessarily planned as a album, the sequence of songs flows very well. Damon Albarn did one more great job! Expand
  2. Oct 23, 2020
    10
    FAR AND AWAY MY FAVOURITE GORILLAZ ALBUM OF *ALL TIME*! All throughout the Song Machine release cycle, I wondered to myself if after 3FAR AND AWAY MY FAVOURITE GORILLAZ ALBUM OF *ALL TIME*! All throughout the Song Machine release cycle, I wondered to myself if after 3 somewhat lackluster albums was Gorillaz about to put out an album that would usurp Demon Days in my view. Sure enough, on 22 October, 2020 CE @ 5:00.00pm PST (or 22 October, 2020 CE @ 12:00.00am GST), they finally friggin DID IT. Those crazy bastards finally usurped Demon Days and ushered in a new GOLDEN AGE of Gorillaz music. After listening to the album on Spotify, with my Deluxe CD due in the mail very soon, along with my 4 Song Machine collector's cassette tapes, I am CONVINCED of this. Possibly the best song on the album - indeed, maybe even the best song in their entire CATALOGUE now - is hands down "The Valley of the Pagans" feat. Beck. I couldn't get enough of it when it leaked, and it turns out the rumors were true - what leaked was merely a demo. The true version of the song somehow BLOWS THAT DEMO AWAY. It's got it all, incredibly succinct & pointed lyrics, a funky groove, tempo & beat you can't not dance to, wonderful instrumentation and vocals all around, and an AMAZING choice in artist collaboration. This isn't to say the remaining tracks aren't as good. This is one of those rare treasures where LITERALLY EVERY SINGLE SONG IS AN ABSOLUTE *BANGER*! Not a dud among them! Not a single song that I *EVER* felt like skipping, which basically NO other album has achieved with me. Not even the legendary Demon Days. Even it has 2 or 3 tracks that bore me. But "Song Machine, season one: Strange Timez"? Hell no. Every tracks is certified gold. Damon Albarn is back! Put The Fall, Humanz, and The Now Now in the past. Not only have we returned to the glory days of Gorillaz, Demon Days, and Plastic Beach, we have SURPASSED them imo. This has something for EVERYONE and EVERY type of Gorillaz fan will have at least ONE song that they LOVE off this, I guarantee. Most likely EVERY Gorillaz fan will love the whole thing or at least MOST of it, but even if one doesn't I *GUARANTEE* that at least ONE song will do it to 'em. Guarantee. I *ABSOLUTELY* recommended buying this album, ESPECIALLY if you're a fan of Gorillaz in ANY capacity. This is ESSENTIAL listening and an INSTANT classic. I GUARANTEE that I'll be listening to this when I'm 100 years old if I make it that far, and so will all the other fans. Could not recommend that you buy this more, CAN NOT overstate the MASSIVE level of quality to be found on this beautiful album. 10 out of 5 stars! I can NOT wait for Season Two, which Albarn has already confirmed is in the works. I am absolutely GIDDY! Here's hoping Season Two brings us a collaboration with Billie Eilish. I think she's really matured as an artist recently and is ready for a major collaboration like that, to go through the pop artist rite of passage and appear on a Gorillaz song! :) Expand
  3. Oct 23, 2020
    10
    Easily the best Gorillaz work to this day. I am very happy in hearing Strange Times! Or should I say I am _feeling glad_ in hearing this?
  4. Oct 30, 2020
    10
    Song machine has proven that Gorillaz are musically dynamic that they have ever been before. This album was a gift to music. Each song isSong machine has proven that Gorillaz are musically dynamic that they have ever been before. This album was a gift to music. Each song is cleverly written and flow smoothly into the next. I would highly recommend listening to this album Expand
  5. Oct 23, 2020
    10
    One of the albums of the year. Every song is amazing but Valley of the Pagans, Aries, The Lost Chore and Pacman are a level above the otherOne of the albums of the year. Every song is amazing but Valley of the Pagans, Aries, The Lost Chore and Pacman are a level above the other ones. Damon Albarn is a genius! Expand
  6. Oct 24, 2020
    9
    Discazo de Gorillaz. La cuarentena teniendo, irónicamente, resultados más que positivos.
  7. Nov 1, 2020
    6
    Song Machine, Season One: Strange Timez, the seventh studio album by Gorillaz is yet another example of how much they can continue toSong Machine, Season One: Strange Timez, the seventh studio album by Gorillaz is yet another example of how much they can continue to diversify their style and sound.
    There's no surprise in it, but that does not neglect the quality.

    Perhaps the real problem I have is that the same diversification makes the album feel a bit unbalanced and at a certain point even somewhat redundant.

    This is because, as always, there are songs that work much better than others.

    And this is quite remarkable with the deluxe edition, since they are songs that for the most part I considered filler and that lengthen an album that doesn't need it.

    A sin that Albarn has committed with this band several times.

    For the most part it's enjoyable. It's easy to listen to and it works well.
    It's not the best the band has ever done, but it's still a nice addition to their discography.

    Notable tracks

    > Strange Timez (featuring Robert Smith)
    > The Valley of the Pagans (featuring Beck)
    > Chalk Tablet Towers (featuring St. Vincent)
    > The Pink Phantom (featuring Elton John and 6lack)
    Expand

See all 23 User Reviews