The British virtual band Gorillaz released their eighth studio album, “Cracker Island,” on Feb. 24. Throughout the album, the lyrics focus on topics such as the weaknesses of a society built upon shady morals and how hopeless that can seem. There is also frequent imagery of the occult, drugs and fame-chasing.
One of the things I liked about the album was the diversity of sound. There was a mix of the upbeat, techy sound that I expected to hear from Gorillaz in songs like “Silent Running” and “Cracker Island,” but there were also a handful of songs that had a more solemn tone, like “Possession Island.” I found this mix to be refreshing, as it made every song feel unique.
There were several artists featured in the album, including Thundercat, Stevie Nicks, Adeleye Omotayo, Tame Impala, Bootie Brown, Bad Bunny and Beck. In songs like “Tormenta,” and “New Gold,” the featured artists’ contributions were very apparent. In others, like “Oil,” which featured Stevie Nicks, I think they could have given her more prominent parts in the song.
Some of my favorite songs in the album were “New Gold,” “Baby Queen” and “Tarantula.” I liked how “Baby Queen” portrayed young, innocent love, but was disappointed by how short it was. There were no bridges in the song and the second verse was much shorter than the first. Songs like “Tarantula” drew me in with the lyrics such as “I’m on 1% but I’m there with you” and “If you’re good for me, then I’m good for you, and that’s all I need in my life.” These lyrics embody the themes of the album with their melancholy and accepting tone.
None of the songs stuck out to me as something I particularly disliked, but my least favorite was “The Tired Influencer.” I thought the use of Siri’s voice behind the main vocals was clever and an interesting commentary on fame-chasing and the increasing role that technology plays in our society, but the song as a whole felt flat and repetitive to me.
Overall, I think the album had a refreshing feel with complex sounds and lyrics. There was an equal mix of upbeat and melancholy songs, which made every individual song stand out while still feeling like a cohesive album.