By David Browne
Updated May 23, 2005 at 04:00 AM EDT

To his credit, Blur’s Damon Albarn — the auteur behind pop’s finest cartoon band since the Archies — didn’t want to rehash the sardonic sleepy-time dub of Gorillaz’s 2001 self-titled left-field hit. With Grey Album producer Danger Mouse at the knobs, the follow-up — Demon Days — is spookier, blippier, and more on edge. It’s also not as cohesive. Some of the guest turns (De La Soul on ”Feel Good Inc.,” Happy Mondays frontman Shaun Ryder on ”DARE”) work; others (Dennis Hopper’s narration on ”Fire Coming Out of the Monkey’s Head”) are one-listen experiences. Tailor-made for iPod pruning.