Are we the last living souls
You may remember that I was a little worried about the soon-to-be-released, Dan-the-Automator-free Gorillaz album. But I had nothing to worry about: Demon Days is a worthy follow-up in nearly every way, though it took me a few listens to appreciate it. From the ponderous dub-styled opener "Are We the Last Living Souls" to the pure dance pop of "DARE"; from the stripped-back rhythm-and-bass rock of "Kids with Guns" to the gorgeous MF Doom-fronted hiphop ballad "November has Come"; from hooky radio-friendly "Feel Good Inc" to the to the sort-of-Velvet-Underground cover "White Light"; Demon Days juggles and mashes musical styles so expertly that when you listen to it, you'll feel compelled to write outrageously long comparative sentences about it.
And let me tell you, nothing can prepare you for the glorious weirdness of the final three tracks: Dennis Hopper's ridiculous spoken word piece gives way to a vocal pop number ripped right out of Brian Wilson's playbook, which then itself segues into a symphonic mess that builds to a giant, album-closing gospel/reggae choral hybrid. Maybe you have to be really nerdy to think that is awesome, but let me tell you... I am really nerdy and I think that is awesome!
Dangermouse does a fine job of filling Dan the Automator's shoes. Actually, on the whole the tone of Demon Days remains remarkably similar to the first album. But perhaps that's no surprise, considering that the still-involved Damon Albarn was responsible for much more of the original album's sound than I originally guessed... apparently, Dan didn't even get involved until Albarn was well into the recording process. I learned that by visiting this site, which reveals what various real-life people did to help bring this imaginary band to life. As you may have guessed, I find the entire project tremendously fascinating. I can't wait for this album to finally drop in stores next month!