Gorillaz and their fall to redundancy

Gorillaz and their fall to redundancy

 Gorillaz, a band formulated by Blur frontman Damon Albarn and multimedia artist Jamie Hewlett, has been nothing short of influential and mostly flawless. Their sound is always one of the most unique, as they never allowed themselves to stick to one genre, yet have the capability to smash through every single one no matter what it is. They’ve covered many genres, like Reggae, Hip-Hop, Pop, Rock, Alternative Rock, Art Pop, Electronica, Trip-Hop and Alternative Pop. Lately, however, they’ve been bound to one particular genre. While that’s not a bad thing, the sound they have has not been all that good.

   I feel what I’d like to call the “day of reckoning” was on June 22nd, 2022, which was when their new single, “Cracker Island” released. (Embarrassing name, by the way, deeper meaning or not.) This song was backed by endless teasers, snippets of parts of the song, and people just straight up leaking the whole thing. When the track finally released a little over two weeks later, it was then that Gorillaz found something terrifying that contributed to their fall to redundancy; exploitative marketing tactics. 

   With the introduction and announcement of a new album and fictional plotline, it was time to start actually MAKING things, considering on the date of the album’s announcement, August 31st, 2022, we were all told we’d have to wait a hefty half a year for this 10 track album to release. Terrible. Their main tactics this whole time have been excessive uses of Instagram and Twitter posts, making at least 10 posts per new single they made public. It’s already milking, but it’s just more annoying than anything. Then they start using the 3D models they have for this phase to make TikToks.

   What this band sought out was fans of them who had used their music in their own TikToks, so they could then “duet” the video, which is essentially a reaction to the original. The models of the beloved characters would be put by the sides of these videos and, as mentioned before, react to whatever content was there. It’s mostly all brainless junk-food videos and contribute nothing to the band’s actual pressing of music. However, this is a very smart thing, as it not only has people interacting with a band they like, giving the band more positive publicity, but it pushes the brand out to even more audiences, no matter how niche or small they may be. I want to make it clear that I am very aware that marketing is a thing that has to happen, I’m not an idiot. The point I’m trying to make is that Gorillaz didn’t need all of… THIS. The merchandise is overpriced, there are so many useless trinkets that have zero upkeep, like cassette tapes of the album pressing, bandanas, wooden stick toys, overpriced art cards, posters, and more. Not to mention they have over SEVENTEEN different vinyl pressings in the forms of every shade of pink conceivable, an admittedly neat zoetrope version, a standard black pressing, and a 7” vinyl. I have never not wanted to buy things more in my life. 

   Their practices are awful and none of this garbage is necessary. Gorillaz already stood well off with just little commercials and posts here and there, not a bunch of expensive merch, brainless TikToks and milking of new releases. They had almost 18 million Spotify listeners before any of this Cracker Island stuff.

   Speaking of the album itself, the songs are all basic synthwave/pop songs that stick about as hard as a ball of stale clay. They’re absolutely the most ‘whatever’ tracks. Huge nothing burgers. Plain top and bottom bun for every single one we’ve heard so far. They aren’t inherently ‘bad’ per se, they’re just painfully generic. Not much else can be said about them, I just feel like I could forgive all of this if the music was at least good, but it is not. 

   I can’t really hold it against them, though. Times are changing and humans are turning back into neanderthals with the audacity to self diagnose themselves with autism because they jumped at a startling noise. Attention spans are shortening and people are getting dumber. It just sucks to see a band I once loved with all my heart, one that got me through the toughest of times, change as well.