Review of Gorillaz’s Newest Album


The album cover for Gorillaz’s “Song Machine, Season One: Strange Timez”

John Kowalski, Royal Banner Editor-In-Chief

Gorillaz. You may or may not have heard of them. 38 singles, 10 albums, and over 2 billion total views on YouTube. They have collaborated with big names like The Clash, Lou Reed, and Snoop Dogg. Song Machine: Season One, Strange Timez is their newest album, consisting of 11 main songs and 6 “bonus” songs. This album was released periodically, with a song and music video coming out every month or two. 

Strange Timez is the headliner and first song of the album. What starts off as a confusing piece grows and grows until it eventually crescendos into a powerful and meaningful song commentating on the “strange” state of our world (Covid, etc.): 

The Valley of the Pagans, the second song on the album, is fast paced and energy filled. The bass, combined with Beck’s energetic singing, portrays a carefree life without any troubles. “She’s a ‘plastic’ Cleopatra”, “I’m on a cleanse”, and more lines help emphasize the message of how much materialism and pointless arbitrary ideas and concepts have infiltrated society. 

The Lost Chord is a track that emulates Plastic Beach, a previous album of the Gorillaz. The song reminds the listener of the ocean, as if the listener was underwater while the track was playing in the background. Another strong piece.

Pacman is a track that grows stronger and stronger with every beat. A song about addiction and stress, “pacman” is really just a form of drug that the singer “2D” uses to take his mind off of problems, avoiding them at all costs.

Chalk Tablet Towers is the first song that didn’t quite hit the mark. It repeats itself over and over, with the same couple of notes being hit every time, and is not that complex. 

The Pink Phantom features Elton John. Despite this, I find this song to be one of the least powerful tracks on the album. It may just be me, but it doesn’t seem to live up to the standard that Elton John is known for. 

Aries is an interesting song. I don’t know what to think about it. I sometimes like it when I listen to it, sometimes I love it, and sometimes I find it mediocre compared to other tracks on the album. Overall, this song is hit or miss depending on my attitude.

Friday 13th is a wonderful piece. I love this song because although it may not be the most popular out of the tracks, I find its combination of rap and unconventional drumming make it one of the best songs on the album.

Dead Butterflies contains elements of pop and is a catchy tune. It flows well, with its style being similar to something found on a Post Malone album.

Désolé, featuring Fatoumata Diawara, is a wonderful track. The song is fast paced, and yet carries a somber tone throughout, with its most used word “Désolé” meaning “sorry.” An absolute classic on the album.

Momentary Bliss rounds off the album. The song is great, using multiple different tempos and artists to form a well thought out finale.


Final Thoughts

Song Machine Season One: Strange Timez was a great album. I would not say it’s as good as previous Gorillaz albums, such as Plastic Beach or Demon Days, but I still think the album had a great mix of songs that allowed me to have a good time listening to the music. Overall, my final score of the album is a 7/10.