Friday, June 15th, 2018

Gorillaz ft. George Benson – Humility

A hazy getaway…


Iain Mew: Since settling into a clearer identity after the first album, Gorillaz singles have just about fallen into busier songs with guest vocals, fun or otherwise, and barer melancholy songs with only Damon Albarn’s. About the only thing new in the easy groove of “Humility” is that it’s light on the melancholy but still just Damon, George Benson’s playing making less of a distinct impression than any vocalist aside from Noel Gallagher’s subliminal appearance last year. Weirdly, that featureness ends up enough of a twist to save the song from autopilot over-familiarity.

Alfred Soto: Nothing humble about this thing: strings, percussion, incongruous melodies, and noodling George Benson lines for the sake of boasting, “Hey, we got George Benson!” to the John Mayer-ites who dug “New Light.” 

Nortey Dowuona: Flat, poorly printed drums (AGAIN) cut a hole underneath the sloppy, squelching bass, glittering guitars and drifting synths that carry Damon Alborn’s dull waft and lift George Benson’s smooth coo.

Thomas Inskeep: Much like a “feat. Nile Rodgers” credit on your record, you fairly know what you’re gonna get when you see “feat. [jazz legend] George Benson,” the only question being whether or not he chimes in on vocals (and here, he doesn’t). His distinctive, smooth-as-silk guitar licks add a lovely, chilled flair to Damon Albarn & co.’s polyglot pop. If you’re not annoyed by Damon sounding as if he’s singing through a refrigerator in the next room, you’ll likely dig the summery vibes on display here. 

Ian Mathers: Not really surprising that Albarn can nail the colourful, sunny, laid back vibe of “Humility”, especially with Benson giving him such an unassumingly good-natured assist. Kind of makes it funny that fans/the press used to expect him to butt heads with the likes of Liam Gallagher; even when his voice is the center of a song his voice sounds and feels best when there’s a bit of distance and diffidence there.

Ryo Miyauchi: The slight radio fuzz cutting through Damon Albarn’s vocals has always been a nice Gorillaz touch. Here, it accents the “calling the from the world of isolation” line nicely; atop the beach rock burnt out from the sun, it arrives like a letter in a bottle washed up ashore. Yet while it’s pretty upon the surface, his melancholy sounds ultimately hollow. The roundabout chorus is a reflecting pool with as much depth as one’s  willing to give to his stoned-out metaphors.

Will Adams: Albarn sings hazily, as if laying in a hammock somewhere as the sun sets, melting cocktail in hand. It’s the humid, melancholic mood I loved on Plastic Beach, where carefree daydreaming can exist while the worries of the world outside throb in the near distance. As if to compensate for 2018, Benson’s guitar provides added escape.

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