Personnel: Jacqueline Fu, Mazy Yap & Kids From Lok Sin Tong Primary School, Neneh Cherry (vocals); MC Yan (rap vocals); Joseph Mount (various instruments); Wei Man Chen (zither); Antonia Pagulatos, Alice Pratley, Sato Kotono, Oliver Langford (violin); Hou Shih Chieh (erhu); Emma Owens, Stella Page (viola); Izzi Dunn (cello); Johnny Yim (keyboards); Al Mobbs (double bass); Danger Mouse (drums, programming); Tung Tang (percussion, programming); James Dring (programming); Jamie Hewlett (sound effects); Rossiere "Shadow" Wilson, Rosie Wilson (background vocals).
Additional personnel: The Reykjavik West End Brass Band, Einar Palmason, Curver, DJ Magic, De La Soul, Shaun Ryder, The Bees, Ghostigital.
Recording information: Avon Recording Studios Limited; Hong Kong; Kong Studios; Studio 13; Studio B109; The 12B Reykjavik; Timi.
Although the grand collaborative project of the first Gorillaz album had been mostly narrowed down to Damon Albarn and a few cohorts on 2005's DEMON DAYS, the music remained no less genre-smashing and fun. D-SIDES, a two-disc set of B-sides and remixes, proves just how inventive and appealing even the Gorillaz' loose ends can be.
Like most B-sides sets, D-SIDES lacks the cohesion of a regular studio album, but therein lies its charm. The stylistically freewheeling, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach Albarn employed with later Blur albums is here, but pushed further, encompassing everything from doo-wop to dub to hard rock to film music. The remix disc, which features work by the DFA, Metronomy, and Hot Chip, is sharper and more focused, without sacrificing the feeling of wild pastiche that makes the Gorillaz tick.
Spin (p.98) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[This collection] has some surprises, especially the zither-adorned 'Hong Kong' and protest song 'Stop the Dams'..."
Uncut (p.94) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "Gorillaz' second round-up of offcuts, noodles and sketches still has an excellent strike rate."
Q (Magazine) (p.133) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[I]t's fascinating to discover tracks such as 'People,' an early sketch for 'DARE' with vocals by Albarn himself..."