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Demon Days

by Gorillaz

Released May 23, 2005 via Parlophone Records / Virgin Records

Reviewed May 20, 2020

Top tracks (based on community voting)
Feel Good Inc. (52%), Dirty Harry (26%), November Has Come (26%)

Looking back on this 15 years later, it’s a shame this record is only recognised for its hits back in the day. Demon Days is a truly fleshed out, multi-layered sonic experience where you can closely pay attention to painstaking artistry, and within the same song wholly vibe to its extensive array of sometimes bright and up-tempo, sometimes murky and sneaking sounds. It boasts timbres and guest vocals from hip-hop, gospel, psychedelic and art rock, trip, pop, reggae, and more, yet manages to avoid sounding messy or incohesive. Its articulation of anxiety and aggravation is never primal or underdeveloped either, rather it is calculated – strongly opinionated yet modest. While a little lengthy, Damon Albarn, Danger Mouse, and co. crafted a versatile and interconnected set of tracks that have aged really well. – Cam (10/10)

Damon Albarn used his multi-format project Gorillaz to channel all of the angst and frustration of post-9/11 life into an album with songs that are now pop culture staples. Demon Days is an emotionally poignant masterwork filled to the brim with infectious hooks, genius genre fusions, well-utilized features, and some of the most intense writing for a mainstream release of its era. Yet, it never drowns you in its social or political messages. Demon Days is a gorgeous landscape of different musical cultures and grooves that come together for some of the most unforgettable and beautiful tracks ever made. 15 years later, it still feels as fresh, important, and fun as it did upon release. – Jared (10/10)

It was evident that Gorillaz were on a planet by itself when Demon Days hit, as Damon Albarn was fairly early to test the limitlessness that popular music would later embrace in the 21st century. Understanding that a virtual or cartoon band would interest more listeners than his one-man band, Damon built something absolutely ripe for the age of the computers. It’s fair to say this was all successfully done on 2001’s Gorillaz, but the genre-less, indie-fied sounds of the successor album exceeded all expectations. The longevity this album has experienced thus far is a surprise to no one. Demon Days is a stellar follow-up to a solid self-titled debut. – DeVán (8.5/10)

One of the finest pop acts of the 2000s at their most prolific hour, more commonly known as Demon Days, sees Gorillaz pull artists such as MF DOOM, Shaun Ryder, De La Soul and Roots Manuva into the world of 2-D, Murdoc, Russell Hobbs and Noodle. What seems like a natural disaster on paper becomes a fully fledged piece with Albarn at the wheel. This record’s sound took semblance on their debut in 2000, but with Demon Days’ release became unignorable in the scope of pop music. With a slight twist––sometimes obscure, and sometimes nothing short of pure––an off-kilter aesthetic runs through Demon Days. Danger Mouse makes his presence known with writer credits on 7 tracks, adding a definite air of hip hop to the Gorillaz sound: Cleaner production enhances the sound, producing a more professional product. – Peter (8/10)

Jared: 10/10 | Cam: 9.5/10 | Ben (Synth): 9/10 | Daniel: 9/10 | Dominick: 9/10

Hadley: 9/10 | Pax: 9/10 | DeVán: 8.5/10 | Enth: 7.5/10 | Peter: 7.5/10


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