Gorillaz – Humanz
8 May 2017 New Releases
Humanz is the fifth studio album by British virtual band Gorillaz. The album was recorded in London, Paris, New York City, Chicago, and Jamaica and produced by Gorillaz, The Twilite Tone and Remi Kabaka, Jr. It is the band’s first studio album since 2010’s The Fall and features collaborations from several popular artists including Vince Staples, Popcaan, D.R.A.M., Grace Jones, Anthony Hamilton, De La Soul, Danny Brown, Kelela, Mavis Staples, Pusha T and Benjamin Clementine.
Damon Albarn has said that with Humanz he set out to create something not overtly political, but “an emotional response to politics”. The album’s overarching theme is the emotional aftermath of an unexpected world-changing event. Albarn removed all references to Donald Trump on the album, saying “There’s no references to [Trump] on the record – in fact, any time when anyone made any reference, I edited it out. I don’t want to give the most famous man on earth any more fame, particularly. He doesn’t need it!” There is however, a bonus track called “The Apprentice,” referencing his former reality show.
To guide collaborators into the “dark fantasy” setting that Albarn envisioned for Humanz, Albarn instructed guest artists to imagine a future in which Donald Trump had won the 2016 US presidential election. As recording for Humanz began well before Trump had secured the Republican presidential nomination, much less the presidency, the possibility of a Trump presidency was still considered remote by many; collaborator Pusha T (who recorded his contribution in early 2016) later commented on Albarn’s inadvertent foresight, saying: “I wrote from the perspective of this day, I was writing from the perspective of a Trump win. When this really happened, I was like ‘Wait a minute, what type of crystal ball did this guy have? Why are you even asking me to think along these lines?’ I don’t think he thought that [Trump] would win, I’m not gonna go that far, but he definitely conceptualized this whole thing.”