Gorillaz
Plastic Beach


4.0
excellent

Review

by Peter Tabakis USER (8 Reviews)
July 9th, 2010 | 11 replies | 3,807 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Damon Albarn establishes himself as a pop auteur. Pop hits be damned, consistency rules here.

2 of 2 thought this review was well written

Listening to Gorillaz, Damon Albarn's virtual supergroup's debut album, twelve years later, reveals how much the band was more of an extension of Blur, two-parts britpop plus one-part hip hop, rather than the dramatic sonic break they seemed to be at the time. Moreover, the album sounds a mess compared to the cohesion of mood and sound of its follow-up, the excellent Demon Days. Plastic Beach, in turn, further deepens and consolidates the band's sound. Albarn has finally left britpop (and, for the most part, guitars) behind, in favor of symphonic flourishes and layers of synthesizers.

Gorillaz has always been a protean collective of artists shaped by Albarn, but it was possible to imagine an actual (cartoon) band playing its own music. On Plastic Beach, however, it's clear that Gorillaz is the vehicle of a singular voice. Even when Albarn's vocal is absent (as it is on much of the album), his force is felt more than ever, especially his incredible knack for melody, which only Stephin Merritt, his closest contemporary, rivals. Here Albarn is more composer than performer, one who allows his guest stars to shine (like Lou Reed, who recalls his former greatness on "Some Kind of Nature").

The sound of Plastic Beach is best expressed by "Empire Ants," which begins as a Dark Side of the Moon ballad that eventually gives birth, and cedes, to an electronic stomp led by Little Dragon. Its best tracks, "Stylo," "Rhinestone Eyes," "White Flag," bend and twist. The album also provides many straightforward pleasures, the giddy "Superfast Jellyfish" (whose chorus recalls the band's past heights), the gorgeous and appropriately titled "On Melancholy Hill," and the equally beautiful Bobby Womack showstopper "Cloud of Unknowing."

Plastic Beach trades big hits for consistency. No song matches the immediate brilliance of singles like "Clint Eastwood," Feel Good Inc.," or "DARE." Yet the whole towers over its parts, and Plastic Beach towers over its predecessors. This is pop music at its funky, oddball best.



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user ratings (1157)
Chart.
3.5
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other reviews of this album
1 of
  • Jasdevi087 (4)
    ...

    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....

    Raul Stanciu STAFF (3.5)
    After two brilliant efforts, Albarn & Co. are back with a bigger number, this time more s...


Comments:Add a Comment 
fromtheinside
July 10th 2010



16395 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i can't believe i haven't heard this yet.

Digging: Lord Mantis - Death Mask

PurpleDrank
July 10th 2010



417 Comments


trash

Slipping Away
July 10th 2010



1261 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

yeah, its not very good (the album not your review)

mvood
July 10th 2010



816 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

albums awsome

Romulus
July 10th 2010



8373 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah this is awesome

bloc
July 10th 2010



34499 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

POWER ON THE MOTHERBOARD

YES

Digging: He Is Legend - I Am Hollywood

timbo8
July 10th 2010



618 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

best gorillaz

CoRpSeSlAyEr
July 10th 2010



855 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

prob the best gorillaz album

AnvilJ
July 10th 2010



124 Comments


I concur with the reviewed. It is a grower for sure and more cohesive. Didn't care for it until after 5 listens or so, but often that is usually a good sign.

Asiatic667
July 10th 2010



4647 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Rhinestone eyes, White Flag, Superfast jellyfish, Stylo, On Melancholy Hill, Broken

There's some great songs on here. Some filler too, though

bloc
July 11th 2010



34499 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah that song is awful



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