*** Gorillaz, "Gorillaz," Virgin. Are 2D, Murdoc, Noodle and Russel the Archies of anime? It may be a cartoon group, but this troop of droogs comes with credibility--the tunes behind the toons are from Blur's Damon Albarn and Bay Area beat master Dan the Automator, with contributions from Del tha Funkee Homosapien, Tina Weymouth and even Ibrahim Ferrer of the Buena Vista Social Club. It's playful hip-hop-pop, appropriately, but not lightweight novelty. In stores Tuesday.
Albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor), two stars (fair), three stars (good) and four stars (excellent). The albums are already released unless otherwise noted.