Gorillaz – Song Machine Season One (Strange Timez) Review: Monthly Album Roundup

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Darby Long

Gorillaz are a virtual alternative band, consisting of (in the animated universe) 2D as the lead vocalist, Russell Hobbs as the drummer, Murdoc Niccals as the bassist, and Noodle as the guitarist. In reality, the only consistent musical contributor to the band is Damon Albarn. The project was founded in 1998 by Albarn and artist Jamie Hewlett. They’ve since released 7 studio albums in total. Each album exploring different styles of music and included collaborations with a multitude of musical artists. Their new album Song Machine Season One: Strange Timez, released in October of 2020, is their first album since 2018’s “The Now Now”. It features collaborations with Robert Smith, Beck, Leee John, Schoolboy Q, St. Vincent, Elton John, 6lack, Peter Hook, and more. Their new album, “Strange Timez” started recording in October of 2019. It’s recording concluded sometime in May of 2020.

 The album’s songs were released monthly as episodes, featuring the guest artists as well as the virtual band members. The album further solidifies Gorillaz as an innovative and unique music project, not just for the musical quality but also the creative way they approached releasing the album’s tracks. The album seamlessly combines multiple genres. Including but not limited to, pop, rock, hip-hop. R&B, and indie. Combining genres and pushing boundaries has always been one of the most fundamental aspects of their music, and they continue expanding upon that aspect with this new album. The album also includes bonus tracks on the deluxe version. All these bonus tracks are arguably just as strong as the album’s main tracks, with the bonus tracks flowing smoothly after the album’s main tracks. Every song is strongly melodic, and the dynamic production makes everything pop out.

In conclusion “Song Machine: Season One – Strange Timez” is another solid and memorable output by Gorillaz. 9/10.