D-Sides review by Gorillaz

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  • Released: Nov 20, 2007
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 7.7 Good
  • Users' score: 5.8 (112 votes)
Gorillaz: D-Sides
6

Sound — 8
The Gorillaz could be considered plenty of genres -- trip-rock, alternative, hip-hop, you name it -- but the band's new release D-Sides makes it very evident that they go way beyond any one title. The 2-CD set includes B-sides and remixes of tracks from 2005's Demon Days, and the results are often both fascinating and enigmatic as was the case with their past remix albums. There aren't a whole lot of your traditional rock songs on D-Sides, and even well known singles like Feel Good Inc and Dare are transformed into a completely different listening experience. Even if you ignore the fact that they are virtual band, the always-experimental Gorillaz are a hard group to peg. A lot of emphasis has been put on the danceable element in their music, but on D-Sides it is evident that the band is not married to any one style. On the 1st CD, which is dedicated to the B-sides, the instrumental intro 68 State incorporates keyboards to sound like the alarms that warn you to take cover in a bomb shelter. Even though the sections within the song get repeated quite a lot, the instrumental track makes for a sleek introduction to D-Sides. Hongkongaton has an extremely chilled-out vibe with it's hybrid blend of reggae and trip-hop, while the similarly titled Hong Kong doesn't hold back it's Eastern influence and features the exotic sounds of a zither (played by Chen Wei-Man). While most of the B-sides are the recorded versions a lot of fans could already be acquainted with, Don't Get Lost In Heaven is actually the original demo. There are a lot of bands who include demo versions that don't veer far off from what you've heard in the past, but the D-Sides version definitely has more of a raw feel and no longer includes the prominent female voices you hear on Demon Days. It's really a matter of taste when it comes to which one is better, but it is cool to hear the alternate version. The remixes that make up the 2nd disk strongly convey the creativity in the Gorillaz and the various DJs helping them out on D-Sides. There are 3 remixed versions of Dare and Kids With Guns, and it's cool to hear the little nuances in each one. If you're not a Gorillaz fan it may be overkill to hear it all, but each remix does seem like a completely new song in itself. Among the interpretations of Dare, the DFA remix is actually the most traditional sounding (if there is such a thing for a remix), the Soulwax Remix has more of an emphasis on synthesizers/samples, and Junior Sanchez actually gives the song the most rock-oriented style of the three.

Lyrics — 7
Just as with the musical arrangements, the lyrical content varies considerably. You get more dance-driven, basic lyrics in the case of Dare, but with a song like Stop The Dams there are deeper themes involved. The lyrics do get repetitive at times during the dance tracks, but the band has proven itself capable of writing more than a few lines in plenty of the songs.

Overall Impression — 8
If we all judged music by creativity and originality, the Gorillaz would be earning perfect scores. Even on a remix album, it feels like you're getting an entirely different experience than with Demon Days. A track like Dirty Harry has a funky-club beat on the original recording, but the version on D-Sides (Schtung Chinese New Year Remix) takes on a completely differently sound when you add in what sounds like authentic Chinese instrumentation (which could very well still just be a keyboard). Even though it can be exhausting to go through both CDs on D-Sides because of the musical ground covered, the Gorillaz have still put out an impressive in-between record before their next studio release.

21 comments sorted by best / new / date

    TLO421
    Well they are making a movie and are just finishing the script now... the soundtrack to the movie will be their final album and they are done with studio albums
    speeddevil22
    hong kong, stop the dams, and all the others are really well written also the first song on the second album its a remix of dare the FDA remix its really good
    GREENWARRI0R
    This album deserves a much higher rating than a 7.7 IMO. Maybe like an 8.5 or so. Hong Kong is such an amazing track.
    Y00p
    ...sound like the alarms that warn you to take cover in a bomb shelter.
    Eh... Bomb alarm?
    Jau_Peacecraft
    A lot of Limp Bizkit songs sounded like shitty remixes. So their actual remixes are horrors best left only to the imagination. Gorillaz is one of the few bands that can put out remixes for legitimate reasons (i.e. for exploring previously desired ideas or structures in a song that didn't make the album cut).
    rebreh
    They are pretty good but I don't like bands when they do remixes. Didn't Limp Bizkit do this not long ago
    SoftParade1967
    drummerdawg77 wrote: Feel bad inc. wrote: The Gorrilaz arnt releasing any more studio albums I believe, or at least i thought thats what the creator said (just to correct the end of the article). But they are releasing a movie... Gorillaz mov.ie? i know they're animated, but come on.
    Yeah there making a movie. Gonna be out by the summer of 2008.
    clickityclack
    Gorillaz are coming back Damon Albarn said in an interview "I'm working on the next Gorillaz project but it wont be called Gorillaz"
    Vegiman
    isaacjnowland wrote: is there a remix of el manana on there? that song is the best id be very interested in listening to a remix of it
    Yeah, the Metronomy mix, it's quite good actually, much like the rest of this "album". I've heard most of these songs already but it's still a refreshing record, they're all great.
    Jau_Peacecraft
    Their celebrity takedown dvd was more or less a movie... besides, as long as it's better than Cool World, people should just sit back and smile. Cool World is probably the worst animated movie that isn't Howard The Duck. Sucks the creator of Cool World got his stuff shafted by hollywood, though :\.
    envoykrawkwar7
    lcf218 wrote: 1st
    tahts about as helpful as this post also good review, think i might pick this cd up soon
    drummerdawg77
    Feel bad inc. wrote: The Gorrilaz arnt releasing any more studio albums I believe, or at least i thought thats what the creator said (just to correct the end of the article). But they are releasing a movie...
    Gorillaz mov.ie? i know they're animated, but come on.
    Jau_Peacecraft
    You people are idiots. Their new album will be the soundtrack to the upcoming Gorillaz movie. Essentially, it'll be a completely new album in the vein of the 2000 album and the Demon Days album only it'll also be in the movie. Hong Kong is also easily the best track on D-Sides, so stop complaining about the sky falling and continue enjoying Gorillaz while they are still around.
    Son_of_Kyuss
    Gorillaz are on break so Murdoc can do The Good, The Bad & The Queen in the mean time
    BaconFrenzy117
    I like the Gorillaz considerably enough to buy this album...What I don't want is this to be their idea of a new album...I hope this doesn't hamper the creation of new material...
    Feel bad inc.
    The Gorrilaz arnt releasing any more studio albums I believe, or at least i thought thats what the creator said (just to correct the end of the article). But they are releasing a movie... Anyway I hope to pick this up...
    isaacjnowland
    is there a remix of el manana on there? that song is the best id be very interested in listening to a remix of it also maybe instead of an acoustic in feel good inc maybe an electric or something, that would spice it up a bit, if it didnt spoil the song
    Feel bad inc.
    BaconFrenzy117 wrote: I like the Gorillaz considerably enough to buy this album...What I don't want is this to be their idea of a new album...I hope this doesn't hamper the creation of new material...
    They do this after every album. Make an album of B sides and remixes