Album Notes - Gorillaz - Cracker Island

March 1, 2023

Lou Reed and Snoop Dogg; Vince Staples and Benjamin Clementine; Elton John and St. Vincent. Gorillaz have a way of weaving disparate artists throughout an album to varying success. This time it's Thundercat, Beck, and Stevie Nicks. Chalk one up in the win column. 

Cracker Island is Damon Albarn back doing what he does with the usual stable of guests in tow along with his cartoon band, now eight LPs into this chapter of his career. After the last decade plus of largely underwhelming Gorillaz output, Cracker Island represents a high point since at least the Gordon Brown premiership. Lyrically, the subject matter of humanity and social commentary remain common themes for Albarn. Musically, it sounds like the most fun he's had in years. The hip hop is dialed down, the vibes are decidedly more jubilant, and the result is a concise, focused 37 minutes of synth-pop goodness.