Plastic Beach

Studio Album by released in 2010
Plastic Beach's tracklist:
Orchestral Intro
Welcome to the World of the Plastic Beach
White Flag
Rhinestone Eyes
Superfast Jellyfish
Empire Ants
Glitter Freeze
Some Kind of Nature
On Melancholy Hill
Plastic Beach
To Binge
Cloud of Unknowing
Pirate Jet

Plastic Beach review

Gorillaz: combining the incompatible

Even if you do not like and never listened to Gorillaz, do not even try to pretend this is the first tie you come across such a band’s title. The mega-successful, mega-original project started by Damon Albarn surpassed all his expectations and turned into the most popular virtual band. The interesting thing is that Albarn could be more than just happy with his original outfit Blur, yet he decided to record a number of parody hip-hop tracks. Almost a decade has passed since then and now Gorillaz are just as recognized as Blur. The phenomenon of this band is not an easy thing to explain. There were many conditions that fell into place to let this project become what it did become; yet the key reasons are the perfectly thought-through image of the cartoon members of the band and stylistic diversity of the music they do. In fact, it is a hard mission to find any other performer that could as easily and effectively combine those things in music that seem incompatible within the limits of one CD. Gorillaz do exactly so and succeed in it like nobody else. Their new studio work, Plastic Beach, released in the first half of 2010, is not a exception out of this rule.

Each song is a separate style

The participation of many established music people in the making of Plastic Beach granted the Gorillaz’ new album a genre diversity. There is no surprise that the first listening to this record may easily leave you an impression that you have just come back from a light-speed journey across virtual lands. In the beginning, it seems that there is nothing to unite these songs; that tempos are all different and every track features new instruments and voices. Nonetheless, genuinely fine musical pieces require a more through study than just a one-time listening. After quite a predictable intro, you welcomed at the gates of Plastic Beach by Snoop Dog. Did Gorillaz come back to their hip-hop early years? No, they did not as Rhinestone Eyes is a totally different song executed in the vein of synth-pop back from the eighties. The genre peculiarities of this and that track are mainly predetermined by the name of a guest who helped Gorillaz with the given song. Therefore, the cryptic-sounding Some Kind Of Nature with Lou Reed is so much different from the futuristic Glitter Freeze with Mark E. Smith. However, the best pieces here are the ones where the leading part is taken up by Albarn himself. Empire Ants is an excellent ballad performance bringing your mind back to the Blur golden period. On Melancholy Hill is another retro-spirited experiment influenced by Stevie Wonder.

Spirit and universality of Gorillaz music

Plastic Beach lasts almost an hour; and when a CD is as long as this one it is in danger of becoming bothering several tracks before its end. The new record from Gorillaz certainly is preserved from this lot. Te compositions here are so variegated that you might easily fall victim to an illusion that you are listening randomly to tracks from several CDs. Still, there is something in it that embraces all the songs featured on Plastic Beach. This is a unique mood that might be just called a kind of Gorillaz mood. Whether it’s a low-tempo piece or a fast song, aggressive hip-hop or sweet-sounding pop-music, you will feel the presence of the Gorillaz spirit. There is some ease in it, natural attitude, that kind of atmosphere that filled the very first efforts by the band. Gorillaz have never been seen as an ideological project with conceptual works. It all started with a bunch of parodies, and even now you hear something of parody in each track of this band, if you may call it so. And this is why the new album by Gorillaz is such an easy and pleasant listening. Just like a seasoning that serves perfectly a great deal of dishes, this record could be an awesome soundtrack to many circumstances and occasions. Gorillaz are once again an unforgettable holiday!

Alex Bartholomew (12.03.2010)
Rate review4.55
Total votes - 499

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