Gorillaz’s “Cracker Island” is a marvel by every measure



The Gorillaz released their newest album, “Cracker Island,” on Feb. 24, 2023. The album features a number of spectacular songs and a variety of collaborations, including Tame Impala, Thundercat, Bad Bunny and Adeleye Omotayo.

As the first energetic notes of “Cracker Island” thundered into my ears, I immediately knew that I was in for a treat. With dazzling collaborations, music and vocals, the Gorillaz’s latest work is sure to leave listeners in awe.

The Gorillaz released their latest album, “Cracker Island,” on Feb. 24. Among the 10 tracks there are multiple collaborations with acclaimed artists, such as Bad Bunny and Tame Impala. Despite a few lackluster songs, numerous spectacular tracks shine bright enough to make the album a success.

The opening and titular track of the album, which features artist Thundercat, is absolutely stellar. The upbeat rhythm, paired with the back and forth vocals of the Gorillaz and Thundercat, enchants from the very first note. Additionally, Thundercat’s phenomenal bass performance holds the entire track together. This is the song that hooked me to the Gorillaz when it was first released prior to the album and, for me, belongs alongside the best the Gorillaz have to offer.

Following “Cracker Island” is an entertaining collaboration with the exceptional Stevie Nicks, titled “Oil.” The paired vocals between the Gorillaz and Nicks are fantastic, with the voices delightfully complementing each other and perfectly matching the music. However, while the upbeat rhythm and vocals make it a fun track, the song never manages to become truly catchy and, therefore, capture me. This is a trait other songs on the album, such as “Skinny Ape,” also share. Thus, while enjoyable, the song is not exceptional.

Later in the album comes the terrific “Silent Running,” which features Adeleye Omotayo. The highlight of the track is, without question, the incredibly catchy chorus. The entrancing melody became a persistent ear-worm. The song also features captivating music, which hooks from beginning to end, and stellar vocal performances. In the end, it is one of the standouts from the album.

After “Silent Running” comes “New Gold,” which features both Tame Impala as well as Bootie Brown. The track sees Impala, Brown and the Gorillaz all deliver wonderful vocal performances which blend seamlessly with one another. Paired with a spectacular rhythm and Impala’s memorable verse, the song makes for a magnificent track on the album.

Taking down the tempo is the utterly fantastic “Baby Queen.” The beat, like so many Gorillaz songs, is splendid and the chorus is instantly catchy. However, the highlight of the track is the mesmerizing mixture of numerous different octave vocals featured near the end, which gives the song a grand feeling as it concludes.

Overall, I found “Cracker Island” to be a terrific new album from one of my favorite bands and I highly recommend giving it a listen. It makes for a splendid entrypoint for those unfamiliar with the Gorillaz and a phenomenal listen for those who are already fans.