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#HotTake Review - Gorillaz: 'Song Machine: Season One – Strange Timez'

(Photo Credit - Nasty Little Man)

Gorillaz - Song Machine: Season One – Strange Timez (October 23, 2020)

Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett are back at it with the release of virtual band Gorillaz new album Song Machine: Season One – Strange Timez. Of course "the band" consists of characters 2D the singer, bassist Murdoc Niccals, guitarist Noodle and drummer Russel Hobbs. Ever since their self-titled debut in 2001, Albarn and Hewlett's pet project has pretty much been a mainstay not just in the alt scene, but also achieving major crossover success as well.

With Gorillaz, Albarn and Hewlett have never been afraid of collaboration on music from the band, having done so numerous times in the past. However, Song Machine: Season One – Strange Timez takes this to an entirely different level. Every track on the album features a collaboration and boy did they recruit some talent. This album literally has everyone on it. It features collaborations with musicians that cross the spectrum including: St. Vincent, Robert Smith, Beck, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, even to the legendary Elton John.

Despite all the collaborations on the album, the record never loses itself. That is, it still feels like a Gorillaz album. It just happens to include music royalty. Perfectly straddling the line between alt, electronic, and hip-hop Song Machine: Season One – Strange Timez is a genre-bending masterpiece. Albarn and Hewlett once again prove that they can not only have their finger on top of the pulse of current music, but are also willing to push the envelope forward with their eclectic sound. I can't imagine if you're reading this that the Gorillaz are new to you. However, there is something that's exceedingly vibrant about this record. Albarn and Hewlett have once again proved that they can make relevant, poignant, and genre-inclusive music that simply works.

Rating - 5/5

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