Mixed feelings. That’s the vibe that “Demon Days”, the follow-up to their 2001 self titled debut, gives off. It’s not in a terrible, ‘just brushed your teeth and drank some orange juice’ way, but still, things have changed in the Gorillaz camp. Gone are the world renowned styling of Dan the Automator, a founder of the group, now replaced by the talented (but very different) Danger Mouse. Also MIA is rapper Del; MF Doom wears the shoes now, and while Doom has skills, his are of a different shade, darker and broody, truly lacking the vivacity characterized by the voice of the missing Funky Homosapien. The lesser known, soft female voice of Miho Hatori (from Cibo Matto) is, too, noticeably absent. So what’s left? Blur’s vocalist (and Gorillaz co-founder) Damon Albarn has taken the majority of the slack, filling holes with an assortment of characters like De La Soul, Deborah Harry and… Denis Hopper, who has a spoken-word style piece on “Fire Coming Out of a Monkeys Head”. There are a few worthy singles on here (“Feel Good Inc”, “Green World”, etc) you’ll hear about, but nothing close to a “Clint Eastwood” track, which may or may not be a good thing. Overall, “Demon Days” is okay, flirting on the line between average and forgettable.
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