For a generation that had known nothing but 1990s peace and prosperity, 9/11 has come to represent, in one way at least, a loss of innocence. The very real emotion that led to the proliferation of American flags has by and large faded. All such feelings do.
In the hammy form of a musical and under the cheery title “Parade” lies the dark true story of Leo Frank, a Jewish man convicted in a show trial of raping and murdering 13-year-old Mary Phagan in 1913 Georgia.
“The Witmark Demos” may be the best distillation yet of this musical eloquence, as its 47 tracks show the troubadour’s gifts for expressing folk’s major emotional, narrative, and characterological themes.
For Gorillaz to express the plasticity of this world in conventional rap would be disingenuous, and their turn from this language toward a less human and electronic musicality represents a broader investment in a synthetic experience.
“Animation can explain whatever the mind of man can conceive,” said Walt Disney of the cinematographic field he helped pioneer. Since Disney popularized animation however, its creative potential has been largely underestimated and the genre has often been relegated to essentially childish themes.