Gorillaz, created by Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett, are truly a one-of-a-kind band. The virtual group of 2-D, Noodle, Murdoc, and Russell has brought us three great albums, one decent album, and Humanz. They have an impressive catalog; one in which picking your ten favorite songs by them can be difficult. Somehow, I did it. Let’s do this.
#10: TIE: “Little Pink Plastic Bags” and “Kids With Guns” (I COULDN’T CHOOSE!)
Before Humanz, The Fall was easily the band’s most divisive album. As a whole, it may have been merely okay, but it did have some great songs. My favorite of them is this one, because of its calm vibe and fantastic lyrics. Damon Albarn’s songwriting is an important factor into how Gorillaz succeed, and this song illustrates that well. I interpret it as a school teacher watching children play during recess. He or she is unsure on what path the children will go down, but the teacher does know that they’ll live in the moments of their life until adulthood. At least, that’s how I interpret it.
“Kids With Guns” is also a heavy song, and it’s content is just as relevant today as it was in 2005, if not more so. The bass line in this song is one of my favorites in all of music, and the climatic payoff is always rewarding to stay for. Have I mentioned that this song is really dang catchy, too?
This may be the most underrated song by Gorillaz. The instrumentals combined with Albarn’s passionate singing make for an emotional song. It reminds me of the feeling of relaxing during summer, as does all of Plastic Beach. The electronic music in the background is also amazing, especially the keyboard in the chorus. This song’s quality is anything but broken.
#8: “Tomorrow Comes Today”
The group’s debut album has a very cool vibe to it, as it blends alternative rock and hip hop practically seamlessly. This cool vibe is illustrated in “Tomorrow Comes Today,” with the hip-hop beat and the soothing vocals creating a cool song. Cool!
Also, that music video’s animation unfortunately has not aged that well.
#7: “Clint Eastwood”
Talk about a classic. In 2001, there wasn’t a whole lot like this song. The catchy chorus and Del The Funky Homosapien’s bars make a unique song that stands the test of time. It’s hard not to sing along with it whenever it plays. Imagine the actual Clint Eastwood singing along to this. It’s be quite the sight.
#6: “Some Kind of Nature”
Lou Reed is well-known for both his solo career and his tenure as frontman of Velvet Underground. One of my favorite songs with him is this Plastic Beach standout. The vocal performances from Reed and Albarn complement each other surprisingly well. The beat also has a happy-go-lucky vibe that complements them well. All in all, this song is some kind of good (that was bad I’m sorry).
When Gorillaz songs implement the magnificent instrument that is the guitar, magic usually insues. One of the catchiest riffs I’ve ever heard is the backbone of this song, played in a 5/4 time signature, hence the name. The lyrics also kind of remind me of “Song 2” by Albarn’s other band, Blur. They’re delightfully cheesy. A great song, indeed.
#4: “On Melancholy Hill”
More great lyrics are here, as is another great beat. It’s both ominous and funky, a balance rarely mastered. This may be Albarn’s best vocal performance on Plastic Beach, and that’s saying a lot. What else can I say, this song is great.
#3: “Rhinestone Eyes”
You can probably tell that I like Plastic Beach a lot. What song from it is my favorite? This one. I adore this song’s verses, chorus, and its epic climax. This song should’ve been a single, but instead we got “Doncamatic” (ugggggghhhhhh). Which one of those two songs do you remember? My point has been proven.
#2: “Feel Good Inc.”
I like Gorillaz’ first three albums about the same, but Demon Days has an advantage in the form of Danger Mouse’s excellent production. The track that we all know from it, “Feel Good Inc.,” shows this perfectly and is more than worthy of a spot on this list. The guitar and beat fuse really well, but the highlight of the instrumentals for me has to be the acoustic guitar solo near the end. Albarn’s vocals and De La Soul’s rapping are both amazing, and this song just kind of speaks for itself.
#1: “El Manana”
This song is simply beautiful. If this list hasn’t been any indication, I like me some electronic/hip hop-influenced music combined with some good guitar, This song does them both masterfully. The vocals are some of the most emotional I’ve ever heard, and they are insanely powerful. The climactic ending is also brilliantly done. If you want the best of Gorillaz, listen to all of these songs.
“19-2000,” “Revolving Doors,” “Plastic Beach,” “Re-Hash,” “Charger,” “O Green World,” “Slow Country,” “Glitter Freeze,” “Saturnz Barz”
Thanks for reading!