2020 MUST HEAR ALBUM #41
It's hard to beat around the bush when it comes to the overall quality of the music Gorillaz have released over the last few years... it hasn't been very good. Even if 'Humanz' and 'The Now Now' had their moments, those were ultimately too scarce, especially on the latter, to make for entirely fulfilling albums that could hold their ground among the likes of 'Plastic Beach', 'Demon Days' or even their debut.
The biggest issue when it came to these releases for me was an apparent lack of direction and cohesion, so I have to forgive myself for being quite worried when I found out that 2020 would be a very single-oriented year for Gorillaz. Surely the band wouldn't be able to consistently release refreshing and focused singles, each wholly unique in style, without at least one or two uninspired flops souring the experience, and even if every track ends up being great, surely they wouldn't release them all as part of one studio album, right? There's absolutely no way that wouldn't end up being a scattered, chaotic mess... or so I thought.
This year has been a renaissance of sorts for the creativity, consistence and experimentation that made Gorillaz such a magical "band" in their prime. Every single, and I mean EVERY single, that the band has released this year has left me impressed, but not even nearly as impressed as I am finally listening to all of these eclectic tracks in the form of an album and realising that all of my worries leading up to this release were substanceless, as to me, 'Song Machine, Season One' doesn't feel like a glorified compilation album simple labeled a "studio album", it feels indubitably like an album that was simply just teased to us bit by bit over the course of the year. Ultimately, I really believe this is the form in which all of these tracks were meant to be experienced, and with the addition of some previously unreleased deep cuts, every song flows brilliantly together and exudes an overall atmosphere that is irrefutably Gorillaz. I'm absolutely floored by this album, I really never imagined myself saying this but I think this is up there with their best albums, and certainly one of the most fun and colourful projects released this year.
Gorillaz are back, 2017-2018 was just a fever dream, don't worry.