Gorillaz
The Fall


3.5
great

Review

by SowingSeason STAFF
December 25th, 2010 | 86 replies | 22,771 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Like an electronically influenced hip-hop dream, The Fall progresses effortlessly to form a surprisingly cohesive work of art.

It hasn’t even been a year since the release of the critically acclaimed Plastic Beach, a genre-busting album that blended many of the Gorillaz’ most endearing traits, yet here we are staring at another full-length LP from the band. Give them credit for not simply resting in the laurels of Plastic Beach’s commercial success…but how can such a hurried effort, recorded almost entirely using an iPad, live up to its predecessor?

Well, to be blunt…it can’t.

But The Fall still presents us with a solid, if not revolutionary, release from the darlings of technologically influenced hip-hop. Perhaps more than any other Gorillaz album, this is filled to the brim with music that is entirely, indisputably electronic. The combination of effects utilized can range anywhere from infectious to breathtaking, and consequently, the entire album makes for a rather engaging listen. You have danceable beats in tracks such as the opener, “Phoner to Arizona” and smooth running, almost tropical soundscapes in songs like “Revolving Doors” and “Shy Town.” The flow from track to track is impeccable, and in that respect, it may even be better than Plastic Beach. Like an electronically inluenced hip-hop dream, The Fall progresses effortlessly to form a surprisingly cohesive work of art.

The only real issue with The Fall is that it lacks a good deal of polishing…or to put it bluntly, it is something of a hack job. There is no sense in denying that this album could have been so, so much more than it is. There could have been a plethora of additional instrumental layers and orchestral contributions like in Plastic Beach. They could have added vocals into more of the songs so that it isn’t so heavily reliant on the instruments and computerized effects by themselves. They could have, quite simply, just taken their goddamn time and reworked some of the weaker tracks to strengthen the album as a whole. But they didn’t, and while it significantly limits The Fall’s upside, it also comes with a few somewhat unexpected perks.

The hasty release of The Fall may have created a few chinks in its armor, but it also lends the album an endearing sense of candidness. Whereas Plastic Beach had the benefit of being backed by an assortment of instruments (and even a full orchestra), The Fall is relatively raw. It still contains heavy synth moments and multiple studio effects, but it feels like they are being laid down for the first time, and you are hearing it before the addition of any pomp and frills, just like the band is. The aforementioned lack of vocals is another thing that may or may not have changed with some extra polishing. It is difficult to say whether this would have helped or hindered the album, because to be honest, the success of vocal contributions are nearly impossible to predict until you hear them and how they are integrated with the music. And on The Fall, the only thing one can be sure of is that the electronic atmosphere constructed by the Gorillaz and their iPad is exceptionally well executed. The instruments and computerized effects carry the album for extended lengths of the album, and they are more than capable of holding their own.

In essence, The Fall seems like a bold statement by the Gorillaz. On one hand, we have the fact that it is the second high quality release by them within the same year. When you factor in the limited means with which they recorded/produced the album, it is almost as if they are figuratively flexing their muscles, flaunting their creative prowess and technical expertise in the process. The Fall is about as good as you can expect music created from an iPad to be. It may not measure up with the best of the Gorillaz’ discography, but it marks a milestone in the recording industry and, to be frank, it sounds damn good most of the time. It is far from perfect, but the Gorillaz have given us another relaxing, thoroughly enjoyable album with enough new elements and electronic experimentation to keep things fresh.



Recent reviews by this author
The Rentals Lost In AlphavilleLow Roar 0
Imogen Heap SparksThe Rosebuds Sand + Silence
Owl John Owl JohnAstronauts Hollow Ponds
user ratings (398)
Chart.
2.6
average
other reviews of this album
1 of

Comments:Add a Comment 
SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
December 25th 2010



15881 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

not trying to steal insomniac's thunder, just jumping on a decent new release in these times of decent-new-release famine

Digging: Maybeshewill - Fair Youth

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
December 25th 2010



7325 Comments


Excellent review, pos'd. I'll listen to this once it's released physically.

Mordecai.
December 25th 2010



8277 Comments


i want this

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
December 25th 2010



3366 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

hey, great, concise review you made! it could've been a better album ,at least with more vocals from Damon

Digging: Anberlin - Lowborn

cvlts
December 25th 2010



8954 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Outside opinions saying this is so bad.

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
December 25th 2010



15881 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

thats what i was hearing too, but honestly this was quite a bit better than i expected

KILL
December 25th 2010



71392 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

2.5

Digging: Invisible - El jardin de los presentes

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
December 25th 2010



31085 Comments


Working on a review for this now, damn you SS!

Digging: Banks - Goddess

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
December 25th 2010



15881 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

haha sorry dev, this wasn't a review i slaved over, so yours might be better

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
December 25th 2010



31085 Comments


I'll probably chuck it up since it's more negative than yours

Irving
Staff Reviewer
December 25th 2010



7164 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

^ Hahahah I know how Deviant feels. I was working on one myself.

I'm pulling out of the Gorillaz review rush. That said, this review was excellently done. It was made with impeccable style and poise, which leads me to believe Sowing must have gotten Jenna Fischer for Christmas. How else could he be so at ease with the world?

Digging: Ty Segall - Manipulator

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
December 25th 2010



15881 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

ha i wish man

tiesthatbind
December 25th 2010



7373 Comments


Hey, it's Dwight!

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
December 25th 2010



31085 Comments


I downloaded this instead of listening to the stream, and I'm almost convinced mine is fake though. is that actually D12 on the first track?

Irving
Staff Reviewer
December 25th 2010



7164 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yes it is. I'm keeping a promise I made to Sowing.

And it is a strange sensation.

cvlts
December 25th 2010



8954 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

omg another office craze?

Irving
Staff Reviewer
December 25th 2010



7164 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

@ Deviant: The first track has no vocals....

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
December 25th 2010



31085 Comments


Yeah, figured as much. I think 3/4 of mine is the real deal and 1 or 2 tracks are fake, will resolve before putting review out lol

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
December 25th 2010



23806 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

decent album, not bad like plastic beach but not good like demon days



SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
December 25th 2010



15881 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i went into my review thinking it was getting a 2.5. then i listened to it a second and third time and for some reason i was impressed.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy