Pick of the Week: Gorillaz “Cracker Island”

Pick of the Week: Gorillaz and Thundercat "Cracker Island" - WERS 88.9FM
Graphics by Kasvi Bhatia

By Mason Standish, Staff Writer

Gorillaz’ mind-infecting single “Cracker Island” has recently hit streaming platforms and hasn’t left listeners’ ears since.

 Having stayed relatively-quiet post-dropping their seventh studio album in October of 2020, Gorillaz has been making their name heard again. The group dropped a smattering of singles over the summer. “Cracker Island” is one that immediately surfaced as a fan favorite. 



In many ways the track feels like an homage to the songs that first put the British virtual band on the map. But also, in many ways it feels like a fresh take on what we have come to expect from the group. 

Cracker Island’s laser-focused beat and chromatic leading vocals seem something akin to their 2001 hit “Clint Eastwood.” However, with the addition of co-producer Thundercat’s addictive tenor vocal backup and wet baselines, it is transformed into something different entirely.

Thundercat’s groove meshed with Gorillaz cyberpunk-psychedelia makes for chaotic harmony. It’s a fitting soundtrack to strutting down a busy street. 



In addition to a groovy sound, “Cracker Island” also paints a cautionary tale for careful listeners. 

While many Gorillaz songs paint a singular narrative regarding the history and daily lives of their fictional band members, this song instead contains a warning for the future. 

Lyrics such as “They were planting seeds at night, to grow a made-up paradise, where the truth was autotuned” reflect a similar state of the world that we find ourselves in today. The narrative meat of the song expands upon this. Gorillaz let the listener peek into a world of “technological wonder” and “virtual perfection.”

The optimistic rephrasing of our potentially dark future juxtaposed alongside the dark and menacing beat makes for an unsettling experience. “Cracker Island” is perfect for your playlists as we transition into the Halloween season. 



“Cracker Island” comes alongside a slow rollout of other songs from Gorillaz new album (also titled “Cracker Island) set to release in February of 2023.

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