Gorillaz D-Sides Review

Released 2007.  

BBC Review

D-Sides remains a collection worthy of your time and attention.

Julian Marszalek 2007

It's a universally accepted truth that b-sides occupy their status for a very good reason: they’re generally not much cop. However, as displayed by this second – yes, second – collection of off cuts mopped up from Damon Albarn's animated band Gorillaz' Demon Days album, quantity can sometimes equal quality, too.

The abundance of ideas displayed here merely serves to highlight Albarn's status as one of this country’s most idiosyncratic and diversely creative talents since David Bowie’s heyday in the 1970s. ''People'' – ostensibly a prototype of ''Dare'' – is a mass of twisted rhythms and metronomic beats that raises the bar at an early stage. The digitised pop of ''The Swagga'' revels in its West London origins as elsewhere, ''Bill Murray'''s funky skank is almost as deadpan as its namesake.

The appearance of the epic ''Hong Kong'' – originally featured on the War Child project – is the album’s centrepiece and greatest talking point. A melancholic meshing of the ennui of London life with the Orient's musical influences, the blended end product sounds like a dry run for the overcast musings of The Good, The Bad and The Queen.

Of less importance, though no less enjoyable, is the collection of remixes that occupy the second CD. Of ''Dare'''s three major overhauls, LCD Soundsytem head honcho James Murphy's colossal DFA re-working trumps efforts from Soulwax and Junior Sanchez while Hot Chip's delicately compulsive take on ''Kids With Guns'' remains the undisputed highlight.

Less crumbs from a table of artistic riches than something sumptuous in its own right, D-Sides remains a collection worthy of your time and attention.

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