A Mostly Successful Mix of New and Old: The Gorillaz-Song Machine Review


Joshua Feldman, Reporting Journalist

As a long-time fan of The Gorillaz, I was excited when I heard about their Song Machine project. The idea of the Song Machine was that piece by piece, The Gorillaz would release new songs, each featuring a different artist, eventually forming a full album. That being said, I can’t say I wasn’t a slight bit skeptical as to how this whole thing would turn out. I wasn’t a huge fan of the more recent Gorillaz albums and this new format seemed doomed to fail. I felt like having to wait weeks, even months for new songs just wouldn’t feel worth it in the long term. After listening to the first track however, I was pleasantly surprised. Weirdly enough, it reminded me a lot of the older stuff from back on albums like Demon Days and their self titled debut. A couple weeks later they released a second track, Desole. While this one felt more in line with Plastic Beach and their more recent albums, I still enjoyed it and thought it was a worthwhile listen. Partially because I got caught up with other work and partially because I forgot, those were the only two tracks I listened to. When I heard that they had released the full album I knew that I had to check it out in order to hear all of the tracks I had missed.

Overall, I thought that the album was good, but was a little disappointing. I think that the first two tracks I heard were easily better than the majority of the other tracks on the album. What I found to be the problem with some of the tracks is that while I thought a lot of them were good, they just didn’t have anything that really made stand out. They had good vocal performances and good instrumentals, but in a few months I’m barely going to be able to remember them. There were also a few tracks that ended up sort of blending together. I would listen to one track and not even realize it went to another because of how similar they sounded. With all that being said I really enjoyed a lot of the tracks on here. A few of my favorites were Pac-Man, Strange Timez, and Momentary Bliss. I think the biggest disappointment in terms of tracks on this album was Pink Phantom. This song featured Elton John and as a fan of his music I was excited to hear how his collaboration with The Gorillaz turned out. Like a lot of the songs, I didn’t think it was bad, It ended up feeling a lot more like a discount Travis Scott song to me than a Gorillaz song. I think in the case of the newest Gorillaz album the positives far outweigh the negatives. It successfully blends the older and newer Gorillaz styles and I would give this a listen if you have the time.

I would give Song Machine a 7/10 rating.