This album fits together more elegantly than the previous Gorillaz albums. It plays like the smooth, laid-back soundtrack to a long lie in the sun (perhaps in the garden, or, if you have one to hand, on a beach). The slightly soporific/hypnotic spell is broken by the chaotic party music of Sweepstakes - but that track is a fun, intense ride.
Expect a slightly slower pace than Demon Days, and, instead of the latter album's mood of "help - the apocolypse is coming", a feel of "okay, here we are in a post-apocolyptic world, let's make the best of it". How you react to that message is up to you.
What's amazing about this music is that, even though it fits together so beautifully, there are so many different elements - western and arabic orchestral music, several flavours of rap (laid back, cheap & cheeky, intense & high), loose semi-improvised brass, dub, alternative rock, 70s and 80s electronica, comedy jingles, crooning, vocal harmonies, snippets that reminded me of Brian Eno, Jean Michel Jarre, David Bowie, Tangerine Dream, and many, many others, and that's before you even get to the various guest stars (Lou Reed, Mark E Smith, De La Soul, Little Dragon, Bobby Womack, Mos Def, Gruff Rhys, etc.) who each bring their own highly personal styles. The guests are fully integrated and feel completely authentic parts of the sound. There are moments that are sleepy, racy, romantic, funny, camp, cool, trippy, danceable, ghostly, nostalgic, futuristic.
This album has a chilled-out feel yet is packed with so much variety and so many overlapping layers of rhythm, sounds, intriguing words, and sweet counterpoint melodies that it will be very hard to get bored no matter how many times you listen.