Review: Gorillaz- Plastic Beach

This is supposed to be Gorillaz’ final album. Judging by their Orchestral trailer, it’s a pretty nice place to retire.

And the video for lead single Stylo suggests they won’t be returning to the mainland any time soon, if Bruce Willis has anything to do with it.

So this is it, their final big bang before they go into hiding on Plastic Beach. And it does bang, big time.

Photo: Parlophone

One thing that Gorillaz know how to do is find the right bass frequencies to make your speakers jump off the desk. From the early days of Clint Eastwood and Rock the House, to Feel Good Inc. and Kids With Guns, the bass lines are absolutely top notch.

And Plastic Beach doesn’t disappoint in that aspect either.  Stylo‘s bass line rolls along. Broken does a few loop the loops. Superfast Jellyfish playfully bounces like a beach ball. Good old Murdoc, the coolest animated bassist in the world.

This almost feels like a concept album. Some may say it actually is. It starts with the Orchestral intro, which feels like a smooth ferry ride to a distant land. Then you reach your destination, and who’s there to greet you at Plastic Beach’s dock? Only Snoopy Dee Ohh Double Gee himself. Of course. Who else? Duh.

Then a mixture of unfamiliar and famous artists give you a guided tour of the island. Kano and Bashy get a bit of help from the the Lebanese National Orchestra for Oriental Arabic Music (crikey) to tell you that this is a war free zone. Lou Reed reminds you that the mysterious place is “some kind of mixture, some kind of plastic to wrap around you”. There’s sadness on the island on Melancholy Hill. Or you can join Mos Def for some games in Sweepstakes.

The album is pretty long at 56 minutes. You spend the first half thinking, “I’m never going to get tired of living in this utopia, I want to stay with the Empire Ants and watch the superfast jellyfish with Bobby Womack forever.”

But the slower, longer songs, like Cloud of Unknowing and To Binge, give you an insight into it’s true nature. You realise that Plastic Beach, the place and the album, is not quite as amazing as you’d initially thought. Luckily, you can hop on Pirate Jet, the final song of the album.

Unluckily, 2-D, Murdoc, Russell and Noodle will be outcast on Plastic Beach forever. Their musical and visual ingenuity will be sorely missed.

Gorillaz – Welcome to the World of the Plastic Beach (Ft. Snoop Dogg and Hypnotic Brass Ensemble)

2 Responses to “Review: Gorillaz- Plastic Beach”

  1. […] Gorillaz and Don Diablo has been mentioned on these pages before so it seems fitting that they should be here together. The Dutchman has stepped up to […]

  2. […] Fantasy [review] 13 Gold Panda – Lucky Shiner [review] 14 Gorillaz – Plastic Beach [review] 15 Big Boi – Sir Lucious Left Foot, The Son of Chico Dusty [review] 16 Tallest Man on Earth […]

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