REVIEW: Gorillaz – Plastic Beach
I have to admit that I’ve not been a massive Gorillaz fan, a few of the singles and an odd album song here and there have been really good, but I’ve been drawn in by Plastic Beach. As soon as I started listening to it, I’ve almost become obsessed, and today alone must have listened to the album at least 3 times. It is brilliant. As soon as it opens, you know that this a concept album of utter precision, Albarn and Hewlett have surely excelled themselves in suprassing musical success previously seen by their cartoon creations.
Plastic Beach is collab-heavy, featuring guest spots from a variety of musicians that makes for an eclectic hodgepodging of both British reflections that have been present in previous albums, and some more international inclusions as well as bigger focus on hip hop in the form of Mos Def’s inspired guesting on two songs, after his success in Blakroc last year. Yet, wildly, it retains the sense of being a Gorillaz album. The guests don’t ruin or detract, but only go to further enhance the songs, even if, like the Snoop Dogg feature on the second track “Welcome to the World of the Plastic Beach” at first appear to steal the show, you can hear the signature musical style throughout that is consistently amazing.
For me, stand out tracks include “White Flag”, “Stylo” “Plastic Beach”, “Sweepstakes” and the brilliant combination of Gruff Rhys and De La Soul on “Superfast Jellyfish” that interjects a great amount of humour into the album, making the album actually quite hilarious. But my absolute favourite is the brilliant Lou Reed collaboration on the song “Some Kind of Nature” it’s, as the Times called it, a “Sesame-Street style” appearance by Reed who in understated quality just helps to craft the amazing song that I simply cannot stop listening to. By the album, when it is released on the 9th. I could not recommend it any higher, admittedly being a song that I have been really surprised by. If this is truly the final crescendo of Gorillaz, what a note to go out on.