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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Demon Days
Virgin Records

Rating: 8/10 ?

June 10, 2005
When I first spun the new Gorillaz disc, my dog ran out of the room and laid in the hallway with her small, furry face in her paws. Demon Days obviously isn't for her, but for Gorillaz fans, it offers plenty.

The sophomore offering from Gorillaz introduces Grey Album mastermind Danger Mouse - in place of Dan the Automator - while Damon Albarn and cartoonist Jamie Hewlett again steal the glory from singer/keyboardist 2-D, super-guitarist Noodle, haunted drummer Russell and satanic bassist Murdoc.

The resulting change is far from drastic. Even the lead single, "Feel Good Inc.", echoes super-hit "Clint Eastwood" in both theme and form: rap + catchy chorus = radio gold. "Dirty Harry," another Eastwood reference, also follows this formula to funktastic perfection. Fi! Fie! Fo! Fum! I smell a.. second single?

But Demon Days is no duplicate. Less accessible than its eponymous predecessor, it creates a darker, less cartoonish world where hip-hop, brit-rock, electronica and Dennis Hopper monologues all seem perfectly at home.

"Last Living Souls", the album's first proper song, sets the tone for the entire record. Somber and lackadaisical vocals (2-Ds spacey trademark) transfer the attention towards the hypnotic beat, topped only by the thump-thump-thump bass line of the following "Kids With Guns."

The catchiest track on the record, "DARE," sounds more akin to 90s dance than to the rest of Demon Days, but still retains the overall sense of despair shared by the entire record. It may be danceable despair, but it's still despair.

The darkness is the marked difference this second time around. Things have gotten serious; the stakes are higher. The closing, title track finds deliverance in a gospel-type choir, carrying lines with a poignancy 2-D could never have pulled off. While ultimately aware of its ominous surroundings, it also presents a hint of optimism: "When lies become reality/You love yourself because it's easy/Pick yourself up it's a brand new day/So turn yourself around."

No about-face necessary; Gorillaz are, again, on the right track.

Reviewed by Natalie B. David
A fresh graduate of the Grady College of Journalism at the University of Georgia, in her spare time she can be found clumsily manipulating words and phrases for LAS and Beautiful/Decay magazine, hungering for sushi, naming inanimate objects or pondering the existence of stiletto heels. If you see her, you should buy her a cup of coffee because, chances are, she probably needs it.

See other reviews by Natalie B. David



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