The Gorillaz are back with their eighth studio album, Cracker Island, that delves into the meaning of life and how people live theirs through the prism of social media. With a mixture of everything, from sloppy beats, raps and dance tunes, to catchy pop, funk and club tracks, Gorillaz exemplify everything they do best on this album. Although nothing on this project was greatly outstanding to me, there isn’t anything bad about this album either. As is standard with Gorillaz music, the production quality and sonics are all top-notch, and the features deliver as well.
Cracker Island possesses collaborations with legendary artists such as Thundercat, Stevie Knicks, and Beck. Every track offers a light and fun vibe throughout and the lyrics are all beautifully written. This project may not be as grimy as some of their older stuff, but Gorillaz are seemingly incapable of creating a “bad” song. If I had to pick my least favourite track, it would be “The Tired Influencer” or “Tarantula”, and the only reason for that would be because they’re formulaic. But again, they aren’t “bad” by any means. I absolutely loved the songs “New Gold” featuring Tame Impala & Bootie Brown, as well as “Tormenta” featuring Bad Bunny. “New Gold” slaps you with a dirty beat and smooth raps, which will always be peak Gorillaz in my opinion. “Tormenta” is without question my favourite song on the base album. Bad Bunny can do no wrong, and personally, I’m a sucker for the Tresillo rhythms and drum patterns in Latin music.
The deluxe edition of Cracker Island offers five more tracks, two of which are remixes. These songs weren’t chosen for the album for good reason, as I don’t see where they would have fit, but they’re all fun nonetheless. The legendary emcee Del The Funky Homosapien drops a couple verses on “Captain Chicken,” a song that sounds like it was made specifically for something on the Cartoon Network. It should also be noted that the remix for “New Gold” done by Dom Dolla goes harder than the original. Personally, this was my favourite song overall on the entire project.
Cracker Island is definitely worth the listen, especially if you love moving your feet and changing your mood into a good one.