Gorillaz call in the features for latest album “Cracker Island” | Arts & Entertainment
Gorillaz the virtual band is back again with another album called Cracker Island which features some flashy names. Singer-songwriter Damon Albarn brings his familiar sounds to hip-hop, synth-pop, and electronic music, but this time with the help of artists like Tame Impala, Thundercat, Beck, Stevie Nicks, and several others.
The album begins with the energetic title track, which attempts to introduce the concept of “Cracker Island”. Thundercat arguably delivers the best backing vocals on this album, which helps reinforce the funky vibes carried through the song.
Halfway through the album, Tame Impala also brings his signature style of psychedelic melodies to “New Gold.” This song particularly shines with a catchy chorus paired with lively and lively melodies that are perfect to dance to on repeat. However, the song seems almost more like a Tame Impala song with some added vocals by Damon Albarn than the other way around.
While there are some songs that stand out as catchy and worth listening to again, there are just as many songs that fall short. Songs like “The Tired Influencer” and “Skinny Ape” among others were decent enough not to hit the skip button, but I most likely won’t be listening to them again.
One of the biggest criticisms I have of this album are the lyrics themselves. It seems that the album “Cracker Island” is meant to be a concept piece with a full narrative. However, the lyrics are often confusing as to what the message is supposed to be.
For the average listener, the rhythm and beats are what you would hear rather than trying to decipher the lyrics. One could try to work on the narrative, but would need to look up the lyrics, read reviews, and possibly even watch the music videos to form a perspective on the overall story.
Gorillaz should have saved some tracks like “New Gold” for the release of the album. That would make the album a lot better because it’s best not to release any of the better songs on the album before the full album even comes out. Sometimes it really is best to save the best for last.
However, I understand that this decision to release “New Gold” before the album might not have been Damon Albarn’s, but rather the studio producers trying to get more profit from the project. Regardless, this decision degraded the listening experience for fans of the band.
Some of the music videos that accompany the songs in this album present entertaining visuals that go well with the upbeat melody. However, these videos also don’t do much to help understand the story that Gorillaz is trying to tell.
While this new album falls short in a number of ways, falling short of some of their earlier albums like “Plastic Beach,” the groovy yet familiar beats are enough to make “Cracker Island” listen, even when it’s just about the familiar with artists.
Best Song: “New Gold”
Honorable Mentions: “Possession Island”, “Cracker Island”
Anthony Maucione is a staff writer.