The Singles Collection 2001–2011


Straight out of the cage, Gorillaz promised to be more than merely a high-concept art project. The “cartoon” rock band formed by Blur frontman Damon Albarn and animator Jamie Hewlett broke through in 2001 with “Clint Eastwood,” a heavy helping of spaghetti-western dub and meaty old-school hip-hop. Albarn sang with quintessentially British melancholy, but he couldn’t help but dream of the possibilities: “The future is coming on.” As this 15-track retrospective attests, the group found its voice around the time of 2005’s Demon Days. The single “Feel Good Inc.” paired Albarn’s wistful acoustic strumming with the chomping rhymes of De La Soul, setting the stage for the King Kong-sized pop of the band’s third album, 2010’s Plastic Beach. By then Albarn had enlisted Lou Reed, Snoop Dogg and members of the Clash, among others, staffing the group with real-life characters even more colorful than Hewlett’s. –Kenneth Partridge

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