Ever heard of Gorillaz? You should!

Kimberly Dayana Aplicano Soriano, Reporter

Gorillaz, one of the most successful virtual bands, released their new album after 5 years of waiting. It was released on Feb 24, 2023. “Cracker Island” released a total of 10 tracks for their album. This is the 8th studio album by the British virtual band.

Their albums are full of variety, we can say they are not a band of a single genre their music is sometimes rock, punk rock, jazz, electronic, and rap. Cracker Island is not an exception because the album includes collaborations with artists like Bad Bunny, Tame Impala, Stevie Nicks, Adeleye, Omotoyo, Thundercat, Bootie Brown and Beck are 6 collaborations of the 10 tracks of the album and after you listen to it I can guarantee you will like it!

Cracker Island the first song of the album. It is a combination of  punk and electric.

“On Cracker Island it was born to the collective of the dawn they were planting seeds at night to grow a made-up paradise where the truth was auto-tuned,” is how the album begins. The song represents how through the virtualization of life there are more cults that intend to create a reality for each one.

“Oil” features Stevie Nicks, whose inimitable counter-melodies help the band find hope in the middle of “interlocking cluster bombs like drum and buss.”

“The Tired Influencer”, the third track, is a song with a fortunate rhythmic section, soft synthesizers and lyrics that speak from a third-person perspective about networks and the emptiness of an ephemeral fame in our times; where anyone with a camera can become famous. The song is well built on its bed of keyboards and samples and it is an average time with Albarn leaving some of the most sincere passages that the band has had, in the voice of 2-D it is a ballad, musically it is enriched by pop rhythms and its percussion section “ I Just trying to keep my head up, but nothing real anymore/ In the world of the tired influencer”

“Silent Running” shows us one of the most emotional tracks on the album. It brings Adeleye Omotayo as a collaborator, and is characterized by its instrumental with retro vibe, melancholic synthesizers and the choirs of the guest artist that are heard in the background, giving the song an important nostalgic feeling.

Damon the vocalist of the band said in a statement on the subject, “And as for the lyrics, precisely the song describes the feeling of feeling that one is going aimlessly, but at the same time realizing that maybe that’s the way.”

“New Gold”  featuring Tame Impala represents the vanities of life. These vanities would be the irrelevant things that usually we put so much value on, for example in the second verse the vocalist, Bootie Brown talks about the dependence on social media which is a negative effect a recently phenomenon. “Trending on Twitter is what some of us live for” “Are we losing our minds because life got in the way” “Nothing here is ever real,” the lyrics of the song says.

“Baby Queen” amicably captures a dreamlike nostalgia in its final part, but to get to it you have to go through a strangely out-of-the universe story about Albarn meeting/dreaming about the princess of Thailand,“I met the princess from  Thailand ,again ,she had grown up, into a queen ” “you we’re in my dreams” said the lyrics of the song.

“Tarantula” is the most musically fun theme of the album since its introduction with that playful synthesizer, there are layers of keyboards scattered everywhere and the percussion section is remarkably convincing, Omotayo’s voice contrasts with Albarn’s in the small moments that it appears, it is danceable and of great pop sense, with sweet choirs

“Tormenta”, recorded in Jamaica and in charge of opening what were the sessions of the album, takes advantage of the potential that Benito/Bad Bunny has when he gets melodic we have seen it in ‘Trellas’, ‘La Canción’ and when he gets chill ‘Ojitos lindos’, ‘Me fui en vacaciones’ the  Puerto Rican lowers the bpm to approach a point that sounds like we would expect the clash between the worlds of the band and Bad Bunny. With Tainy, Remi Kababa Jr, and Greg Kurstin involved here, reggaeton is but is attenuated, and, in turn, in the world of the Gorillaz there is an extra flavor when Bad Bunny pronounces that of “aprovéchame hoy que mañana me voy”

The tropical air that runs through the whole song,actually, it could perfectly go through a remix of a discard of a “Un Verano Sin Ti” the last album of the Bad Bunny,  “Tormenta” was recorded before Bad Bunny starts his last album and we could say that maybe he took some inspiration from this song for his last album.

This time it’s the turn of ‘Skinny Ape’, an energetic and optimistic song narrated from the perspective of 2-D being consciously true that there are many people with problems that are not visible. “Take my hands and pull me up again” “Don’t be sad  for me, I’m  a cartoon G  And my intent is to breathe in a new world don’t be sad for me” he sings in the choir.

“Possession Island” brings together Albarn and Beck in a charming and sincere duet loaded with a heartbreaking harmony, and again with folk guitars and synthesizer effects creating blizzard atmospheres, this theme is in collaboration with Beck, here is a melancholy piano until strings and winds enter giving us an exciting but brief part and so with the sweet voice of Beck and Albarn to give us a serene and sad conclusion of Cracker Island.

Cracker Island is not the best album of Gorillaz but is not a bad album because it has a history behind the songs and if you are interested in knowing more about it you can do it. It is not an album with just listen to songs because you can find a great history behind the Cracker Island. The best songs on the album are “new gold” “ silent running” “ skinny Ape” and “cracker island.”

The album deserve a four star rating because I think it was good  and you should listen to it.