Demon Days [CD & DVD] [Explicit Lyrics]

( 3 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
Breaking a hiatus even longer than their cartoon kin in the Family Guy cast, Gorillaz return to action with this worthy follow-up to their self-titled debut. Flesh-and-blood major-domo Damon Albarn -- joined by sound manipulator Danger Mouse, who fills the trainers of Dan "The Automator" Nakamura -- takes things in some intriguing directions this time around, with a considerably less sunny mood. That's evident on tracks like "Kids with Guns," on which Albarn rails against, well, practically everything he sees in the decaying world around him, and the misty "Every Plant We Reach Is Dead." The cast of characters is even more wide open this time around, with cameos by the...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
Breaking a hiatus even longer than their cartoon kin in the Family Guy cast, Gorillaz return to action with this worthy follow-up to their self-titled debut. Flesh-and-blood major-domo Damon Albarn -- joined by sound manipulator Danger Mouse, who fills the trainers of Dan "The Automator" Nakamura -- takes things in some intriguing directions this time around, with a considerably less sunny mood. That's evident on tracks like "Kids with Guns," on which Albarn rails against, well, practically everything he sees in the decaying world around him, and the misty "Every Plant We Reach Is Dead." The cast of characters is even more wide open this time around, with cameos by the Pharcyde's Booty Brown -- who holds down the funky center of the "Clint Eastwood" sequel "Dirty Harry" as he's bombarded with chirping children and electronic ephemera -- and De La Soul, who go a long way toward launching the Daisy Age revival on "Feel Good Inc." The oddest guest of all is Dennis Hopper, who brings the full scope of his Blue Velvet bizarritude to the spoken-word interlude "Fire Coming Out of a Monkey's Head." Albarn has said that he used Demon Days to exorcise some of his own demons, and that shows, but not to the exclusion of beats you can dance to.
All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Damon Albarn went to great pains to explain that the first Gorillaz album was a collaboration between him, cartoonist Jamie Hewlett, and producer Dan the Automator, but any sort of pretense to having the virtual pop group seem like a genuine collaborative band was thrown out the window for the group's long-awaited 2005 sequel, Demon Days. Hewlett still provides new animation for Gorillaz -- although the proposed feature-length film has long disappeared -- but Dan the Automator is gone, leaving Albarn as the unquestioned leader of the group. This isn't quite similar to Blur, a genuine band that faltered after Graham Coxon decided he had enough, leaving Damon behind to construct the muddled Think Tank largely on his own. No, Gorillaz were always designed as a collective, featuring many contributors and producers, all shepherded by Albarn, the songwriter, mastermind, and ringleader. Hiding behind Hewlett's excellent cartoons gave Albarn the freedom to indulge himself, but it also gave him focus since it tied him to a specific concept. Throughout his career, Albarn always was at his best when writing in character -- to the extent that anytime he wrote confessionals in Blur, they sounded stagy -- and Gorillaz not only gave him an ideal platform, it liberated him, giving him the opportunity to try things he couldn't within the increasingly dour confines of Blur. It wasn't just that the cartoon concept made for light music -- on the first Gorillaz album, Damon sounded as if he were having fun for the first time since Parklife. But 2005 is a much different year than 2001, and if Gorillaz exuded the heady, optimistic, future-forward vibes of the turn of the millennium, Demon Days is as theatrically foreboding as its title, one of the few pop records made since 9/11 that captures the eerie unease of living in the 21st century. Not really a cartoony feel, in other words, but Gorillaz indulged in doom and gloom from their very first single, "Clint Eastwood," so this is not unfamiliar territory, nor is it all that dissimilar from the turgid moodiness of Blur's 2003 Think Tank. But where Albarn seemed simultaneously constrained and adrift on that last Blur album -- attempting to create indie rock, yet unsure how since messiness contradicts his tightly wound artistic impulses -- he's assured and masterful on Demon Days, regaining his flair for grand gestures that served him so well at the height of Britpop, yet tempering his tendency to overreach by keeping the music lean and evocative through his enlistment of electronica maverick Danger Mouse as producer. Demon Days is unified and purposeful in a way Albarn's music hasn't been since The Great Escape, possessing a cinematic scope and a narrative flow, as the curtain unveils to the ominous, morose "Last Living Souls" and then twists and winds through valleys, detours, and wrong paths -- some light, some teeming with dread -- before ending up at the haltingly hopeful title track. Along the way, cameos float in and out of the slipstream and Albarn relies on several familiar tricks: the Specials are a touchstone, brooding minor key melodies haunt the album, there are some singalong refrains, while a celebrity recites a lyric this time, it's Dennis Hopper. Instead of sounding like musical crutches, this sounds like an artist who knows his strengths and uses them as an anchor so he can go off and explore new worlds. Chief among the strengths that Albarn relies upon is his ability to find collaborators who can articulate his ideas clearly and vividly. Danger Mouse, whose Grey Album mash-up of the Beatles and Jay-Z was an underground sensation in 2004, gives this music an elasticity and creeping darkness than infects even such purportedly lighthearted moments as "Feel Good Inc." It's a sense of menace that's reminiscent of prime Happy Mondays, so it shouldn't be a surprise that one of the highlights of Demon Days is Shaun Ryder's cameo on the tight, deceptively catchy "Dare." Over a tightly wound four minutes, "Dare" exploits Ryder's iconic Mancunian thug persona within territory that belongs to the Gorillaz -- its percolating beat not too far removed from "19/2000" -- and that's what makes it a perfect distillation of Demon Days: by letting other musicians take center stage and by sharing credit with Danger Mouse, Damon Albarn has created an allegedly anonymous platform whose genius ultimately and quite clearly belongs to him alone. All the themes and ideas on this album have antecedents in his previous work, but surrounded by new collaborators, he's able to present them in a fresh, exciting way. And he has created a monster album here -- not just in its size, but in its Frankenstein construction. It not only eclipses the first Gorillaz album, which in itself was a terrific record, but stands alongside the best Blur albums, providing a tonal touchstone for this decade the way Parklife did for the '90s. While it won't launch a phenomenon the way that 1994 classic did -- Albarn is too much a veteran artist for that and the music is too dark and weird -- Demon Days is still one hell of a comeback for Damon Albarn, who seemed perilously close to forever disappearing into his own ego. [Demon Days was also released as a deluxe edition containing a bonus DVD with the video for "Feel Good Inc.," a making-of animatic for the video, plus the bonus audio track "The Swagga."]
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/24/2005
  • Label: Wb / Parlophone
  • UPC: 724347730405
  • Catalog Number: 773041

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Intro (1:03)
  2. 2 Last Living Souls (3:10)
  3. 3 Kids With Guns (3:45)
  4. 4 O Green World (4:31)
  5. 5 Dirty Harry - Bootie Brown (3:43)
  6. 6 Feel Good Inc. (3:41)
  7. 7 El Mañana (3:50)
  8. 8 Every Planet We Reach Is Dead (4:53)
  9. 9 November Has Come (2:41)
  10. 10 All Alone (3:30)
  11. 11 White Light (2:08)
  12. 12 Dare (4:04)
  13. 13 Fire Coming Out of the Monkey's Head (3:16)
  14. 14 Don't Get Lost in Heaven (2:00)
  15. 15 Demon Days (4:28)
Disc 2
  1. 1 The Swagga
  2. 2 Feel Good Inc.
  3. 3 Feel Good Inc.
  4. 4 Feel Good Inc.
  5. 5 Gorillaz Talent Quest/Gorillaz on Set
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Gorillaz Primary Artist
Emma Smith Double Bass
Neneh Cherry Vocals
Ike Turner Piano, Soloist
London Community Gospel Choir Vocals, Choir, Chorus
Prabjote Osahn Violin
Martina Topley-Bird Vocals
Noodle Group Member
Isabelle Dunn Cello
Amanda Drummond Viola
Simon Tong Guitar
Rossiere "Shadow" Wilson Background Vocals
Bootie Brown Track Performer
Dennis Hopper Readings, Spoken Word
Sally Jackson Violin
2D Group Member
Russel Hobbs Group Member
Al Mobbs Double Bass
Murdoc Nicalls Group Member
Stella Page Viola
Antonia Pagulatos Violin
San Fernandez Youth Chorus Children's Chorus
Children's Choir San Fernandez Vocals
Rosie Wilson Background Vocals
Technical Credits
Damon Albarn Producer, Audio Production
Don Harper Composer
Howie Weinberg Mastering
Geoff Pesche Mastering
Romye Robinson Composer
Jason Cox Producer, Engineer
Cass Browne Publicity
Gorillaz Composer, Producer, Audio Production
Danger Mouse Audio Production
James Dring Programming, Producer
J.C. Hewlett Artwork
Pete Candeland Director
Jamie Hewlett Director
Sebastian Monk Sound Design
Chu Li Shewring Sound Design
David Jolicouer Composer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

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2 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Demon Days Limited Edition

    This is my favorite CD. If you're interested in buying the Demon Days Limited Edition here is my ratings for each song. Intro-1 Last Living Souls-2 Kids With Guns-5 O Green World-1 Dirty Harry-5 Feel Good Inc.-5 El Manana-3 Every Planet We Reach Is Dead-1 November Has Come-1 All Alone-1 White Light-1 DARE-4 Fire Coming Out Of The Monkey's Head-1 Don't Get Lost In Heaven-1 Demon Days-1 The DVD was great because of the Feel Good Inc. Video. In conclusion,I think this CD/DVD deserves a 4 star rating.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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