Gorillaz
Plastic Beach


3.5
great

Review

by Raul Stanciu STAFF
March 3rd, 2010 | 70 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: After two brilliant efforts, Albarn & Co. are back with a bigger number, this time more serious and eco-friendly album.

Having lots of contributors isn't always a bad idea, considering how good their previous albums are and the large number of hits throughout the years (Feel Good, Inc., Clint Eastwood, DARE, 19/2000, etc.), but this time Albarn brought in an even bigger number of guests. Ranging from Snoop Dogg and De La Soul to Bobby Womack, Lou Reed and even different Orchestras, Plastic Beach is an eclectic record where you never know what to expect next.

However, Gorillaz work best when they're fun and make disco-pop tracks. First single Stylo and Glitter Freeze are the typical highlights that boost energy and life into this otherwise downtempo album. Albarn chose to let the guests Bobby Womack and Mos Def deliver the tune, rather than him singing full time. Nothing new, but the big number of people who are brought in sing more than Albarn. There are many tracks where you don't hear him almost or at all, like the opener Welcome To The World...(except for some distorted vocals performed by Damon), White Flag, Glitter Freeze, Sweepstakes, Cloud Of Unknowing. This is quite a flaw because considering how much he sang on Demon Days, here he gets lost behind the production desk listening , rather than coming out and sing. His voice is unmistakable , it's the Gorillaz' voice and it's their album, not a compilation after all...

Only towards the end of the album there are some great numbers like On Melancholy Hill, Broken and Plastic Beach where he decides to sing for the whole song.
While the other albums had an identity of their own, Plastic Beach is drowned in different ideas , genres and each time you find a great song , not only different from one another, it's Albarn who's singing. On the amazing Melancholy Hill he successfully contrasts some happy music with painfully lyrics ''Well you can't get what you want/But you can get me'', ''Up on melancholy hill/There's a plastic tree/Are you here with me
Just looking out on the day/Of another dream''. The track creates a cartoon-like setting, but it's what Gorillaz do best.
Then the closing number, another could-have-been-great track,Pirate Jet just fades out halfway, ending a messy album.

Albarn's eco-friendly message gets lost and while this album needs a serious number of spins to capture you in its world, it clearly lacks the poppy tunes the others have. It's a clever album but gets misunderstood because of confusion it creates.

Tracks to download - On Melancholy Hill, Stylo, Glitter Freeze, Plastic Beach, Pirate Jet



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user ratings (1237)
Chart.
3.5
great
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • Jasdevi087 (4)
    ...

    Peter Tabakis (4)
    Damon Albarn establishes himself as a pop auteur. Pop hits be damned, consistency rules he...

    TheSmoke (4.5)
    Plastic Beach is an very good album that nerver gets boring, it´s dreamy and it´s not co...

    clavichordwolf (2)
    Plastic Beach is nothing but candy-coated bullshit played for satire....

  • Plutonio (3)
    Plastic Beach is another album from hip-hop's eclectic superheroes; this time their eclect...

    DhA (4)
    Not that different from previous releases, although the lack of a killer single may make t...

    piero (4)
    Maybe Plastic Beach represents the beginning of the end of musical labeling, the start of ...

    Nick Butler EMERITUS (2.5)
    An identity crisis caught on record....

  • Deviant STAFF (4)
    Round 3 for Albarn and co. proves that third time is still indeed the charm....

    sobelecta (4.5)
    Album number three doesn't disappoint from the former Blur man....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Bulldog
March 3rd 2010


3796 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

I don't see what the big deal about these guys. I haven't listened to one of their albums in forever, but I remember not liking them too much. Oh well, best to start here.

lechium3
March 3rd 2010


95 Comments


garbage review

Bulldog
March 3rd 2010


3796 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Eh, wasn't shabby for a sixth. Some paragraph spacing problems and some grammatical error but it gave me the idea of how the album sounds.

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
March 3rd 2010


7363 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i thought this was dissapointing

JWT155
March 3rd 2010


9300 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Meh, your review seems more of a conversation with a friend who knows a lot about the band then a review. Definitely write more from the perspective that your audience knows nothing about the band or the album. your ideas are really all over the place too and not completely organized.

porch
March 3rd 2010


8459 Comments



I really like this record, maybe it'll wear off but at the moment its awesome. Empire Ants is the
standout track for me.

This review needs some work.

Knott-
Emeritus
March 3rd 2010


10198 Comments


first sentence i think you mean collaborators but contributors could work too

AggravatedYeti
March 3rd 2010


7685 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I dunno, I think this album is the bees knees so far, the easiest Gorillaz album to sink into imo.

review was meh, I suppose expand upon your arguments, everything is just too vague.

Romulus
March 3rd 2010


8443 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is awesome. Review is fair but I'm holding out for a staff.

kojpl
March 3rd 2010


11 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I agree with your review. It seems like Albarn took the back seat with vocals, and although I didn't really notice it before, his voice is the foundation for the sound of Gorillaz. I went through the whole album last night and really none of the songs hit me as songs from previous albums did with their infectious beats (see Feel Good Inc., D.A.R.E, Clint Eastwood). Each of those songs was really crisp and clean, which in a way is proof that the Gorillaz found a sound that worked for them. This album on the other hand has a much wider range of genres and I was overwhelmed by all the sounds, at times there were just so many clashing elements it was making my head dizzy. This really disappointed me because I thought the Gorillaz were all about simplicity, and you would think an album titles Plastic Beach would be more chill. I guess they were bored of their old sound and wanted to do something more creative, but bottom line it just isn't working for me, and I doubt it will for other people who were really into their previous style.

porch
March 3rd 2010


8459 Comments


Bobby Womack ftw

Romulus
March 3rd 2010


8443 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Poop your many usernames are mind-boggling. Glad to see you like this though

porch
March 3rd 2010


8459 Comments


Haha yeah romgsom i'll be sticking with this account from now on though. Album is addictive



HenchmanOfSanta
March 3rd 2010


1882 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The intro is kind of awkward, since you don't mention Gorillaz by name and refer to Damon Albarn by just his last name. I know we know this review is about this album, but it just feels wrong.

Digging: Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels 2

KILL
March 3rd 2010


71965 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

slightly disappointed :D

Digging: Exodus - Blood In, Blood Out

ThePalestMexican
March 3rd 2010


2816 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I liked the album, sue me.

cirq
March 3rd 2010


9264 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i like it a lot.

Urinetrouble
March 3rd 2010


5764 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

im diggin what comes out of this record.lotso good tracks and a couple filler. it is missing albarn a lot, but it is still good. i think he should do one more gorillazcd and be done with it. i expect a lot of dvds soon from gorillaz

Urinetrouble
March 3rd 2010


5764 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i wasnt digging the orchestral intro and to binge is kindof weak compared to the rest. like i said,a couple (2) tracks

DhA
March 3rd 2010


421 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

wtf you didnt liek the variety thats like reviewing a metal album and sayign you didnt liek the metal



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