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• Clint Eastwood   • 19-2000

There's a reason that all of my reviews have been favorable of late. Plainly stated, its due to unemployment. Being one of the many dislocated Dot-Comers, I have to be choosy with the music that I purchase. It's time to tighten my belt financially and I frankly cannot afford to buy everything I see.

I find myself researching my purchases more thoroughly before I take them up to the counter and often I have to make some pretty tough decisions. It's all about sacrifice, baby.

The wonderful Matador Records keeps the promos a-coming and we have managed at Free Williamsburg to get on a couple of other lists (Kranky, Lost Highway, Tresor, ~Scape) but all in all, purchases are still coming out of my own pocket.

That said, when I heard that Dan the Automator played a key role in a new release, I knew that my money would be well spent. After all, he's the funkiest producer since Prince Paul and is responsible for such classics as the wonderful Dr. Octagon and Handsome Boy Modeling School.

Gorillaz is a "super group" of sorts showcasing the talents of The Automator, Blur's Damon Albarn, Del the Funkee Homosapien, Kid Koala, Cibo Matto's Miho Hatori, and the Tom Tom Club's Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz and their premiere full-length release is (excuse the ad-ready hook) the party album of the summer.

I'm getting older now, but I miss the days when a great, bass-heavy pop release would arrive (think Check Your Head, Low End Theory, or Odelay) to rock every house party that you went to and subsequently would become the anthem for your summer. Gorillaz, just might be this year's best candidate for this prestigious title.

It is insanely pop, insanely silly, and unlike Automator's Handsome Boy Modeling School, Gorillaz has a flow that never seems disjointed. Influences are all across the board borrowing most predominantly from Hip Hop, but traces of Beck and Portishead are to be found here as well.

The obvious hit is the previously released "Clint Eastwood" with Del the Funkee Homosapien actually living up to his name for a change. He single-handedly ruined Deltron 3030 with his constipated rhyming style. Songs such as the bass-heavy "Left Hand Suzuki Method" as well as "54" with its perfect vocal treatment by Albarn and its hilarious chorus "she turned my dad on" are not to be missed.

Automator is the funkiest he has been since Dr. Octagon with original samples, and subtle electronic maneuvering. What really works well on Gorillaz is the vocal/rap interplay between Alborn, Hatori, and Del on the microphones. And forgetting to mention Kid Koala on the turntables would be a travesty, because he is at his phattest. Yes this is the type of album that inspires a white boy like me to say Phat.

I gotta split now.. "19-2000" is rocking my speakers with Hatori's honey vocals and it's time to drink a beer and party. Unemployment's not so bad!


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