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Gorillaz|Humanz

Humanz

Gorillaz

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On 2017's Humanz, Damon Albarn returns to Gorillaz after a seven-year hiatus -- a period when he busied himself with two operas, a solo album, and a Blur reunion -- and reconnects with the collaborative instincts that drove the band's first two albums. Plastic Beach -- the 2010 album that served as the group's last major opus (The Fall, released just months later, was that LP's bittersweet coda) -- found Albarn stepping toward the center stage but on Humanz he recedes, giving his collaborators the spotlight and softening whatever complicated narrative he and illustrator Jamie Hewlett devised for their cartoon group's fourth phase. Maybe this is why Humanz feels wild and unruly in a way Plastic Beach never did: the emphasis is on the individual cuts, not the grand concept. Some themes are woven throughout the record -- there's a political undercurrent, although the upheavals of Trump and Brexit are never addressed directly; there's a heavy reliance on R&B and hip-hop -- but the album seems pleasingly scattershot as it bounces from guest to guest. Its messiness suits the digital era, when it's possible to swipe from style to style without a second thought, but Humanz isn't haphazard. Albarn deliberately sculpts each cut, giving plenty of space for Vince Staples, Grace Jones, Danny Brown, Anthony Hamilton, Mavis Staples, Pusha T, and longtime Gorillaz mainstay De La Soul to roam. That list of guest artists underscores how Humanz feels connected to soul in a way Plastic Beach didn't, but with its careening, carnivalesque hooks and skeletal 2-Tone spook -- not to mention how the whole thing is anchored on "Busted and Blue," a Damon solo track that could've slid onto Everyday Robots -- it's clearly an Albarn project. But even with its heavy, heavy R&B vibe and roiling politics, Humanz feels strangely uplifting, as if every musician who entered the studio found solace in the act of creation. That's why "We Got the Power" -- a collaboration with Savages singer Jehnny Beth and Damon's onetime rival Noel Gallagher -- is such a fitting closer: in dark times, it finds hope and inspiration in the power of the collective, which is a testament to what Albarn intends to do with Gorillaz.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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Humanz

Gorillaz

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1
Intro: I Switched My Robot Off
00:00:23

Remi Kabaka, Producer - John Davis, Masterer - Gorillaz, Producer, MainArtist - John Davies, Engineer - Damon Albarn, Producer, Vocals, Writer - Stephen Sedgwick, Mixer, Engineer - Anthony Khan, Producer - Samuel Egglenton, Assistant - The Twilite Tone of D/\P, Producer - Ben Mendelsohn, Vocals

© 2017 Gorillaz Partnership under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2017 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company

2
Ascension (feat. Vince Staples) Explicit
00:02:36

Remi Kabaka, Producer - John Davis, Engineer, Masterer - Gorillaz, Producer, MainArtist - Damon Albarn, Producer, Drums, Vocals, Writer, Synthesizer - Stephen Sedgwick, Mixer, Engineer, RecordingEngineer - Giovanni James, Additional Vocals - Drea D'nur, Additional Vocals - Anthony Khan, Producer, Drums, Vocals, Writer, Synthesizer - Janelle Kroll, Additional Vocals - Vince Staples, Vocals, Writer, FeaturedArtist - Michael Law Thomas, AdditionalEngineer - Imani Vonshà, Additional Vocals - Brandon Markell Holmes, Additional Vocals - Marcus Anthony Johnson, Additional Vocals - Melanie J-B Charles, Additional Vocals - Rasul A-Salaam, Additional Vocals - Samuel Egglenton, Assistant - Starr Busby, Additional Vocals - The Twilite Tone of D/\P, Producer - Casey Cuyao, Assistant

© 2017 Gorillaz Partnership under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2017 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company

3
Strobelite (feat. Peven Everett)
00:04:33

Remi Kabaka, Producer - Gorillaz, MainArtist - Peven Everett, Additional Keyboards, Writer, FeaturedArtist - John Davies, MasteringEngineer - Damon Albarn, Producer, Vocals, Writer, Synthesizer - Stephen Sedgwick, Engineer, MixingEngineer, RecordingEngineer - Giovanni James, Additional Vocals - Drea D'nur, Additional Vocals - Anthony Khan, Producer, Drums, Bass Guitar, Additional Vocals - Janelle Kroll, Additional Vocals - Imani Vonshà, Additional Vocals - Brandon Markell Holmes, Additional Vocals - KT Pipal, Engineer - Marcus Anthony Johnson, Additional Vocals - Melanie J-B Charles, Additional Vocals - Rasul A-Salaam, Additional Vocals - Samuel Egglenton, Engineer - Starr Busby, Additional Vocals

© 2017 Gorillaz Partnership under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2017 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company

4
Saturnz Barz (feat. Popcaan)
00:03:02

Remi Kabaka, Producer - John Davis, MasteringEngineer - Gorillaz, MainArtist - Damon Albarn, Producer, Vocals, Writer, Synthesizer - Stephen Sedgwick, MixingEngineer, RecordingEngineer - Giovanni James, Additional Vocals - Popcaan, FeaturedArtist - Drea D'nur, Additional Vocals - Anthony Khan, Producer, Additional Drums, Additional Synthesizer - Andre Sutherland, Writer - Janelle Kroll, Additional Vocals - Imani Vonshà, Additional Vocals - Brandon Markell Holmes, Additional Vocals - KT Pipal, Assistant - Marcus Anthony Johnson, Additional Vocals - Melanie J-B Charles, Additional Vocals - Rasul A-Salaam, Additional Vocals - Samuel Egglenton, Assistant - Starr Busby, Additional Vocals

© 2017 Gorillaz Partnership under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2017 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company

5
Momentz (feat. De La Soul) Explicit
00:03:17

Kelvin Mercer, Vocals, Writer - Remi Kabaka, Producer - John Davis, Engineer, Masterer - Gorillaz, Producer, MainArtist - Damon Albarn, Producer, Vocals, Writer, Synthesizer - Stephen Sedgwick, Mixer, Engineer, RecordingEngineer - De La Soul, Vocals, FeaturedArtist - Jean-Michel Jarre, Synthesizer - Giovanni James, Vocals - Vincent Mason, Writer - Drea D'nur, Vocals - Anthony Khan, Producer, Drums - Janelle Kroll, Vocals - Azekel, Vocals - Morgan Garcia, Engineer, Vocals - Imani Vonshà, Vocals - Brandon Markell Holmes, Vocals - Marcus Anthony Johnson, Vocals - Melanie J-B Charles, Vocals - Rasul A-Salaam, Vocals - Samuel Egglenton, Assistant, AdditionalEngineer - Starr Busby, Vocals - The Twilite Tone of D/\P, Producer - Ben Mendelsohn, Vocals - Dave Jolicoeur, Writer

© 2017 Gorillaz Partnership under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2017 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company

6
Interlude: The Non-Conformist Oath
00:00:22

Remi Kabaka, Producer - John Davis, MasteringEngineer - Gorillaz, MainArtist - Damon Albarn, Producer, Drums, Writer, Synthesizer - Stephen Sedgwick, MixingEngineer, RecordingEngineer - Anthony Khan, Producer, Drums - Samuel Egglenton, Assistant

© 2017 Gorillaz Partnership under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2017 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company

7
Submission (feat. Danny Brown & Kelela)
00:03:22

D. Albarn, Composer - Danny Brown, Vocals, Writer, FeaturedArtist - Remi Kabaka, Producer - John Davis, Engineer, Masterer - Gorillaz, Producer, MainArtist - Graham Coxon, Guitar - Damon Albarn, Producer, Drums, Writer, Synthesizer - Stephen Sedgwick, Mixer, Engineer - Giovanni James, Additional Vocals - Drea D'nur, Additional Vocals - Anthony Khan, Producer, Additional Drums, Additional Synthesizer - D. Sewell, Composer - A. Khan, Composer - Janelle Kroll, Additional Vocals - Kelela, Vocals, Writer, FeaturedArtist - Imani Vonshà, Additional Vocals - Brandon Markell Holmes, Additional Vocals - Marcus Anthony Johnson, Additional Vocals - Melanie J-B Charles, Additional Vocals - Rasul A-Salaam, Additional Vocals - Samuel Egglenton, Engineer - Starr Busby, Additional Vocals - The Twilite Tone of D/\P, Producer - J.U.S, Engineer - K. Mizanekristos, Composer

© 2017 Gorillaz Partnership under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2017 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company

8
Charger (feat. Grace Jones)
00:03:34

Remi Kabaka, Producer - John Davis, Engineer, Masterer - Gorillaz, Producer, MainArtist - Damon Albarn, Producer, Drums, Guitar, Vocals, Writer, Synthesizer - Stephen Sedgwick, Mixer, Engineer, RecordingEngineer - Grace Jones, Vocals, Writer, FeaturedArtist - Anthony Khan, Producer, Drums, Additional Synthesizer - Samuel Egglenton, Engineer, Assistant - The Twilite Tone of D/\P, Producer

© 2017 Gorillaz Partnership under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2017 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company

9
Interlude: Elevator Going Up
00:00:05

Remi Kabaka, Producer - John Davis, Engineer, Masterer - Gorillaz, Producer, MainArtist - Damon Albarn, Producer, Vocals, Writer, Programming - Stephen Sedgwick, Mixer, Engineer - Anthony Khan, Producer - Samuel Egglenton, Engineer - The Twilite Tone of D/\P, Producer - Ben Mendelsohn, Vocals

© 2017 Gorillaz Partnership under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2017 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company

10
Andromeda (feat. DRAM)
00:03:18

Remi Kabaka, Producer - John Davis, Engineer, Masterer - Gorillaz, Producer, MainArtist - Damon Albarn, Producer, Vocals, Writer, Synthesizer - Stephen Sedgwick, Mixer, Engineer, RecordingEngineer - Anthony Khan, Producer, Drums, Synthesizer - Roses Gabor, Additional Vocals - Dråm, Vocals, FeaturedArtist - Shelley Massenburg-Smith, Writer - Samuel Egglenton, Assistant - The Twilite Tone of D/\P, Producer

© 2017 Gorillaz Partnership under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2017 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company

11
Busted and Blue
00:04:37

Remi Kabaka, Producer - John Davis, Engineer, Masterer - Gorillaz, Producer, MainArtist - Damon Albarn, Producer, Vocals, Writer, Synthesizer - Stephen Sedgwick, Mixer, Engineer - Anthony Khan, Producer, Synthesizer - Kelela, Vocals - Samuel Egglenton, Assistant - The Twilite Tone of D/\P, Producer

© 2017 Gorillaz Partnership under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2017 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company

12
Interlude: Talk Radio
00:00:20

Remi Kabaka, Producer, Synthesizer - John Davis, Engineer, Masterer - Gorillaz, Producer, MainArtist - Damon Albarn, Producer, Writer, Synthesizer - Stephen Sedgwick, Mixer, Engineer - Anthony Khan, Producer, Synthesizer - Samuel Egglenton, Engineer - The Twilite Tone of D/\P, Producer - Ben Mendelsohn, Vocals

© 2017 Gorillaz Partnership under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2017 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company

13
Carnival (feat. Anthony Hamilton)
00:02:16

D. Albarn, Composer - Remi Kabaka, Producer - John Davis, Engineer, Masterer - Gorillaz, Producer, MainArtist - Damon Albarn, Producer, Vocals, Writer, Synthesizer - Stephen Sedgwick, Mixer, Engineer - A. HAMILTON, Composer - Anthony Hamilton, Vocals, Writer, FeaturedArtist - Anthony Khan, Producer, Drums, Guitar, Bass - Samuel Egglenton, Assistant - The Twilite Tone of D/\P, Producer

© 2017 Gorillaz Partnership under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2017 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company

14
Let Me Out (feat. Mavis Staples & Pusha T)
00:02:56

Terrence Thornton, Writer - Remi Kabaka, Producer - John Davis, Engineer, Masterer - Mavis Staples, Vocals, Writer, FeaturedArtist - Gorillaz, Producer, MainArtist - Damon Albarn, Producer, Vocals, Writer, Synthesizer - Stephen Sedgwick, Engineer - Pusha T, Vocals, FeaturedArtist - Giovanni James, Additional Vocals - Drea D'nur, Additional Vocals - Anthony Khan, Producer, Additional Vocals, Synthesizer - Janelle Kroll, Additional Vocals - Jonathan Lackey, Assistant - Imani Vonshà, Additional Vocals - Brandon Markell Holmes, Additional Vocals - Marcus Anthony Johnson, Additional Vocals - Rasul A-Salaam, Additional Vocals - Samuel Egglenton, Assistant - Starr Busby, Additional Vocals - The Twilite Tone of D/\P, Producer - Alex Baez, Assistant - Giovanni Jame, Vocals

© 2017 Gorillaz Partnership under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2017 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company

15
Interlude: Penthouse
00:00:12

Remi Kabaka, Producer - John Davis, Engineer, Masterer - Gorillaz, Producer, MainArtist - Damon Albarn, Producer, Drums, Writer, Synthesizer - Stephen Sedgwick, Mixer, Engineer - Anthony Khan, Producer - Samuel Egglenton, Engineer - The Twilite Tone of D/\P, Producer - Ben Mendelsohn, Vocals

© 2017 Gorillaz Partnership under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2017 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company

16
Sex Murder Party (feat. Jamie Principle & Zebra Katz) Explicit
00:04:19

Remi Kabaka, Producer - John Davis, Engineer, Masterer - Gorillaz, Producer, MainArtist - Damon Albarn, Producer, Vocals, Writer, Synthesizer - Stephen Sedgwick, Mixer, Engineer - Jamie Principle, Vocals, Writer, FeaturedArtist - Zebra Katz, Vocals, Writer, FeaturedArtist - Anthony Khan, Producer, Drums - Ojay Morgan, Writer - Samuel Egglenton, Assistant - The Twilite Tone of D/\P, Producer

© 2017 Gorillaz Partnership under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2017 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company

17
She's My Collar (feat. Kali Uchis)
00:03:30

Remi Kabaka, Producer - John Davis, Engineer - Gorillaz, MainArtist - Damon Albarn, Producer, Drums, Vocals, Writer, Synthesizer - Stephen Sedgwick, Engineer - Anthony Khan, Producer, Drums - Kali Uchis, Vocals, Writer, FeaturedArtist - Samuel Egglenton, Assistant

© 2017 Gorillaz Partnership under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2017 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company

18
Interlude: The Elephant
00:00:12

Remi Kabaka, Producer, Synthesizer - John Davis, Engineer, Masterer - Gorillaz, Producer, MainArtist - Damon Albarn, Producer, Writer, Synthesizer - Stephen Sedgwick, Engineer - Anthony Khan, Producer, Synthesizer - Samuel Egglenton, Assistant, AdditionalEngineer - The Twilite Tone of D/\P, Producer - Ben Mendelsohn, Vocals

© 2017 Gorillaz Partnership under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2017 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company

19
Hallelujah Money (feat. Benjamin Clementine)
00:04:23

Remi Kabaka, Producer - John Davis, Engineer, Masterer - Gorillaz, Producer, MainArtist - Damon Albarn, Producer, Vocals, Writer, Synthesizer - Stephen Sedgwick, Mixer, Engineer - Giovanni James, Vocals - Drea D'nur, Vocals - Anthony Khan, Producer, Drums - Benjamin Clementine, Vocals, Writer, FeaturedArtist - Janelle Kroll, Vocals - Imani Vonshà, Vocals - Brandon Markell Holmes, Vocals - Marcus Anthony Johnson, Vocals - Melanie J-B Charles, Vocals - Rasul A-Salaam, Vocals - Samuel Egglenton, Assistant - Starr Busby, Vocals - The Twilite Tone of D/\P, Producer

© 2017 Gorillaz Partnership under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2017 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company

20
We Got the Power (feat. Jehnny Beth)
00:02:18

Noel Gallagher, Additional Vocals - Remi Kabaka, Producer - John Davis, MasteringEngineer - Gorillaz, MainArtist - Damon Albarn, Producer, Drums, Vocals, Writer, Synthesizer - Stephen Sedgwick, Engineer, MixingEngineer, RecordingEngineer - Jean-Michel Jarre, Synthesizer - Anthony Khan, Producer, Drums - Jehnny Beth, Writer, FeaturedArtist - D.R.A.M., Additional Vocals - Sam Egglenton, Bells

© 2017 Gorillaz Partnership under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2017 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company

Album Description

On 2017's Humanz, Damon Albarn returns to Gorillaz after a seven-year hiatus -- a period when he busied himself with two operas, a solo album, and a Blur reunion -- and reconnects with the collaborative instincts that drove the band's first two albums. Plastic Beach -- the 2010 album that served as the group's last major opus (The Fall, released just months later, was that LP's bittersweet coda) -- found Albarn stepping toward the center stage but on Humanz he recedes, giving his collaborators the spotlight and softening whatever complicated narrative he and illustrator Jamie Hewlett devised for their cartoon group's fourth phase. Maybe this is why Humanz feels wild and unruly in a way Plastic Beach never did: the emphasis is on the individual cuts, not the grand concept. Some themes are woven throughout the record -- there's a political undercurrent, although the upheavals of Trump and Brexit are never addressed directly; there's a heavy reliance on R&B and hip-hop -- but the album seems pleasingly scattershot as it bounces from guest to guest. Its messiness suits the digital era, when it's possible to swipe from style to style without a second thought, but Humanz isn't haphazard. Albarn deliberately sculpts each cut, giving plenty of space for Vince Staples, Grace Jones, Danny Brown, Anthony Hamilton, Mavis Staples, Pusha T, and longtime Gorillaz mainstay De La Soul to roam. That list of guest artists underscores how Humanz feels connected to soul in a way Plastic Beach didn't, but with its careening, carnivalesque hooks and skeletal 2-Tone spook -- not to mention how the whole thing is anchored on "Busted and Blue," a Damon solo track that could've slid onto Everyday Robots -- it's clearly an Albarn project. But even with its heavy, heavy R&B vibe and roiling politics, Humanz feels strangely uplifting, as if every musician who entered the studio found solace in the act of creation. That's why "We Got the Power" -- a collaboration with Savages singer Jehnny Beth and Damon's onetime rival Noel Gallagher -- is such a fitting closer: in dark times, it finds hope and inspiration in the power of the collective, which is a testament to what Albarn intends to do with Gorillaz.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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