Gorillaz | The Singles Collection: 2001-2011

Virgin (2011)
By MICHAEL MAROTTA  |  November 22, 2011
3.0 3.0 Stars

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Adapt or die — and for that we must give Damon Albarn credit. Imagine the ridicule if someone during the height of Britpop's mid-'90s sprint predicted that the former Blur frontman would stay relevant long past the Good Mixer's glory days by re-emerging as the cartoon face of an animated hip-hop/pop collective? You'd have ralphed lager all over your jumble sale blazer, mate. But this Gorillaz singles-and-video package, spanning four albums, is a great example of how unpredictable pop culture can be. Fifteen selections that put Blur far back in the rear view, Albarn's work here with visual director Jamie Hewlett and a rotating cast of collaborators — Dan the Automator, Danger Mouse, Lou Reed, Snoop, etc. — is as remarkable as their 2001 debut selling six million records (two years before Blur disappointed with Think Tank). On early cut "Clint Eastwood," Del the Funkee Homosapien may have eased turn-of-the-century UK indie kids into hip-hop, while synth standouts "Stylo" and "On Melancholy Hill," both off 2010's Plastic Beach, ride a current trend of electronic sounds. The Grammy-winning act's peak may have been 2005's appropriately titled hip-pop jam "Feel Good Inc.," and "DARE," a dance floor funk crusher that unearthed the Happy Mondays' Shaun Ryder (reminding us he was still alive). Britpop was a movement obsessed with the present, and Albarn was the only one poised to stay in the game long after its demise. Adapt, he did.
  Topics: CD Reviews , Music, Gorillaz, Gorillaz,  More more >
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