March 7, 2002

Test Spin: Gorillaz

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The cartoon supergroup returns with a CD of rare tracks and remixes of songs from the eponymous debut. G-Sides is inherently hit or miss. The Soulchild remix of “19-2000” starts things off on an expectedly ecstatic note, but the Wiseguys House of Wisdom version annoys to the point of skipping. The horns on the reworked “Latin Simone” punch vibrantly behind the gentle musings of Blur’s Damon Albarn (Murdoc), but “Clint Eastwood” is stripped of all its charm and transformed into a repetitive zombie of a tune.

What makes this album possibly worth the sale price, however, is the previously unreleased material and B-sides. “Faust” delves into the atmospheric territory which supplied some of the debut’s most memorable moments. Albarn propels the mix of gospel and techno on “Ghost Train” to produce the standout track.

All in all, there are no epiphanies to be had here and, except perhaps for the two videos included, the album is ultimately unnecessary.

Archived article by Ben Kupstas