Picture this – it’s 2009, and Feel Good Inc. is playing loudly but muffled in the background. You’re in the bathroom with your friend at a basement party. Your friends were probably playing the song on Guitar Hero 5, and the music was extremely loud. However, you didn’t mind because you appreciate good music.
Damon Albarn, the man behind the microphone, and his character quartet known as Gorillaz have created this timeless music for over two decades. The band has impressed many with their fusion of techno sound and rock vocals, and their music has navigated its way into movies, clubs, video games, and every person’s memory who grew up in the early 2000s.
I would say it is difficult to box this virtual band of four into just one genre. They effortlessly cross between hip hop and electronica, but nobody asks questions because it simply just works. While on Spotify, I came across their newest EP, Song Machine Episode 5. I enjoyed the song Pac Man featuring rapper Schoolboy Q and was then inspired to revisit all of their past discography. Therefore, I have compiled a list of my top 5 all-time favorite Gorillaz songs.
In my opinion, this song is a classic – from the funky baselines to the harmonious chorus, it has a lot to offer the eardrums. The second single off their album Demon Days, released in 2005, this song was at the top of the charts all over the world. It peaked at number 4 of US Dance Club Songs and was the top UK single from 2005 to 2006.
- On Melancholy Hill
Being a ballad and yet still an electronic dance song, this song effortlessly crosses genres. The track is number ten on the Gorillaz 2010 album Plastic Beach, switching up the album with a more pop-sounding, emotional number.
- Kids With Guns
This song combines a robust and groovy guitar base with a catchy, repetitive bridge while seamlessly blending the other elements into the chorus. Everything about this song is musically genius. Overarching the entire piece is a slow build, and the end personally makes me want to get out of my chair and dance.
- Tomorrow Comes Today
Off one of their older albums, Gorillaz, the song Tomorrow Comes Today is slower compared to others of the album. Combining their well-known electronic groove with more of a laid back, lo-fi beat, this song makes the listener contemplate life’s meaning. The harmonica sound mixed with the prevalent drum bassline creates a tune that you can’t resist.
Although last on the list, it is certainly not least. A song that features alternative vocals with a funky, trip-hop background, Kansas showcases a modern sound tinged with nostalgia. One of the lyrics, “I think I’ll coast a while,” almost perfectly describes how this song carries the listener through layers of pop and psychedelic rock. Simply coasting, the Gorillaz conveyed artistry with this one.
“Dare (Song).” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 7 Aug. 2020, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dare_(song).
“Demon Days.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 23 Aug. 2020, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demon_Days.
“Gorillaz (Ft. ScHoolboy Q) – Pac-Man.” Genius, 20 July 2020, genius.com/Gorillaz-pac-man-lyrics.
gorillaz. “Gorillaz.” YouTube, YouTube, www.youtube.com/channel/UCfIXdjDQH9Fau7y99_Orpjw.
Caroline Embleau is a junior at the University of Georgia studying journalism and computer science. Having a passion for both music and writing, Caroline has always found ways to fit both into her life. Originally from Atlanta, Caroline now spends her college career in Athens covering the culture of the town and exploring the local music. Through engaging in a diverse culture, Caroline has also found an interest in politics. After college, she hopes to become a political risk consultant or an entertainment journalist. She is excited to pursue her role as an intern at Music Noises LLC so she can expand her knowledge of the music industry and become a better writer.