2 of 1001 Songs: Gorillaz’s Stylo

I remember when Gorillaz got popular when I was in high school. I don’t think it was ever that they were popular with my age group, but there very artsy, older kids who seemed to be into them. I never got into the band though. I think they have a unique style and sound, but the music just never struck a chord enough with me to make them apart of my music collection.

History: In 2012, Gorillaz chose “Stylo” to be their first single from their album Plastic Beach. They also wanted to bring in some other vocalist as well, and that led to Mos Def and Bobby Womack contributing to vocals. Bobby Womack is 69 and almost has a voice you wouldn’t associate with the group. He was very hesitant to get involved with contributing because he was unfamiliar with the group. The reception was mainly positive for the new single, and it seemed to be that the band was exploring incorporating new sounds into their own music. It made new ways with alternative hip hop, but didn’t prove to be as huge a success with audiences as it’s chart appearance didn’t debut as well as the rest.

Vocals: What’s most interesting for me is Bobby Womack’s involvement with the album. He hadn’t released a single since 1995, and this has been his last single since 2010. The doesn’t seem to be working anymore, so he must have had a strong love for his daughter to get involved. His vocals are probably the best thing about the single though. Mos Def is good, but I’m not as huge a fan of his vocals, and 2D is the lead vocalist for Gorillaz, but honestly I haven’t been a fan of his vocals before.

Instrumentals: There are interesting sounds created from the band that at times make it a catchy hip hop beat. 2D also contributes to the keyboard, which is a huge portion of the song. Murdoc Niccols is on bass guitar and I’ve got to say the bass is one of the best parts. Noodle contributes to guitar, Russel Hobbs on drums. You have a great range of instruments to make the song come to life and it is rich in sound.

Lyrics: The song lyrics do flow a lot like poetry. I appreciate the artistic flow of it. The thing is the lyrics are quite vague. Key words can tune you into the meaning, but overall it seems like one of those songs that heavily relies on interpretation. The lyrics flow does work for the variety of vocalist they have. They have three different type of vocalist and there are parts that suit each of them. The song isn’t very easy to relate to for me though.

Gorillaz has it’s fans that will always be there. They are just a fan of how they have progressed the genre they are in, and they truly are an unique band. Even listening to Skylo I had heard nothing like it. Maybe in a different atmosphere the song would work a lot better, but I can see how this single might have not performed as well as their others. It was embarking on mixing some different vocalist and sounds for the band.

Rating 6 of 10.

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