Because 2005 seems to be the year when scattered is the new focused, Gorillaz's sophomore album, Demon Days, couldn't sound savvier. Damon Albarn's melodies burst with stop-on-a-dime aplomb, while coproducer Danger Mouse incorporates every genre in the pop-music rainbow in his sound palette and still manages to keep things lean and cool. The album's gaggle of guests, including MF Doom, De La Soul, and Dennis Hopper (!?), adds to the fun, while a lyrically dark commentary on our times underscores everything -- the hammy vocal deliveries, the infectious tunes, the youth choir. It's actually lovely if you close your eyes.


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