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The Lion's Roar

The Official Student News Media of Southeastern Louisiana University

The Lion's Roar

The Official Student News Media of Southeastern Louisiana University

The Lion's Roar

Review | A lookback on Gorillaz’s “Demon Days”

Gorillaz+band+uses+a+unique+combination+of+alternate+rock%2C+hip+hop+and+trip-hop%2C+a+fusion+of+electronica+and+hip-hop+originating+from+the+United+Kingdom%2C+to+intrigue+listerns.+
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Gorillaz band uses a unique combination of alternate rock, hip hop and trip-hop, a fusion of electronica and hip-hop originating from the United Kingdom, to intrigue listerns.

On May 23, 2005, the British virtual band Gorillaz released their second studio album, “Demon Days.” The album was ranked 437 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list in 2023, number six on the U.S. Billboard 200 in 2005 and number one on the UK Albums Chart in that same year. 

The critical praise for this album and Gorillaz as a whole is definitely warranted as this is one of my personal favorites. Some might say the album is overrated due to its mainstream popularity, but my opinion still stands. I discovered this album a couple of years ago while looking for new songs to add to my Spotify playlist; the first song I heard was “Feel Good Inc”, and I was instantly hooked. 

There were a couple of reasons why I got interested in diving into this album and the band. The first is the Gorillaz’s use of genre in their songs: it’s not so easy to pin down a single one. Their songs are a combination of alternate rock, hip hop and trip-hop, which is a fusion of electronica and hip-hop originating from the United Kingdom. The song “Dirty Harry” also uses a choir chorus provided by the London Community Gospel Choir. 

A fan of only one of these genres could still enjoy the tracks because they sound so good together.  

Another interesting element about the band is that they are a virtual band. While the concept of a fictional band is nothing new, with one of the oldest examples of the novelty being Alvin and the Chipmunks, the concept and name was popularized by Gorillaz. The four fictional members of the band Murdoc, 2-D, Noodle and Russel are presented in traditional animation or CGI (computer-generated imagery) in music videos and through hologram projections at live concerts.

The concept for the band was developed by Damon Albarn, who served as the primary music contributor and comic book artist Jaime Hewlett. In an interview with comic book creator Neil Gaiman, the creators talk about the inspiration for Gorillaz coming from the unrealistic, “cartoony” nature of pop culture. 

We were flatmates. One day, we were home watching MTV with our eyes just kind of glazed. Because if you watch MTV for too long, it’s a bit like hell, there’s nothing of substance there. So we got this idea for a cartoon band, something that would be a comment on that,” Hewlett said. 

As a fan of animation, I enjoy watching the music videos because of the visuals. I tend to always avoid music videos, but I felt a crucial part of this band is the fact the members are animated so looking at visual depictions of them is a plus.

I’m very glad that I ended up stumbling upon this album and band and I highly recommend that people who are curious give the Gorillaz a listen. 

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About the Contributor
Ian Stewart, Opinions Editor
Ian Stewart is a creative writing major and serves as the opinions editor. He has worked on the newspaper staff since the Fall of 2021. Ian is a native of Baton Rouge. He enjoys fiction writing, video games and watching new movies. After graduating, Ian hopes to be a fiction writer.
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