Gorillaz
The Fall


3.0
good

Review

by A J M H CONTRIBUTOR (31 Reviews)
January 4th, 2011 | 17 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A mediocre offering from a band capable of so much more.

Gorillaz are quite the interesting band, to say the least. They create fun dance music (for lack of a better term) that appeals in a mainstream sense without sounding derivative or complacent. Since 2001, with the release of their well-received self-titled debut, the group has been using their innovation to craft catchy engaging pop songs with somewhat of a hip-hop bent.

The band has grown over the years and have continued to produce generally well-received material, 2010’s Plastic Beach being the latest installment in their impressive discography. Personally, I didn’t care for Plastic Beach very much, but their other two albums are favourites of mine, so I would still consider myself a fan, overall.

Then, while touring in 2010, an album was thrown together, apparently almost entirely using an Apple iPad. Now I don’t really care how it was recorded. The bottom line is the quality of the music. Sure, some will say that this is a gimmick, but if the music turns out to be good, that point is moot.

Luckily the music is good. Kind of.

On The Fall, the group once again displays that they are very good music makers. They have many interesting and unique ideas to keep the listener interested throughout most of the 43-minute run time. However, the issue with The Fall is that it just kind of washes over you; it passes by almost unnoticed. It’s a nice listen, and there’s nothing wrong with it in the musical sense. But it all seems so lifeless compared to the energy present in early Gorillaz classics like ‘Clint Eastwood’ or ‘Kids with Guns.’

I guess what I’m trying to say is that there’s no zazz. That’s right, zazz. You know, zazz. It’s similar to oomph. (I believe it was derived from the Latin ‘pizazz’ meaning, roughly, “A quantifiable amount of something special”) And this is a band that really needs a certain amount of zazz to be great. Lots of people can mess with electronic noises on their iPad and create coherent, even good songs. But in the hands of a band as innovative as Gorillaz has been in the past, you just expect more. Album opener ‘Phoner to Arizona’ is a nice enough opener, and the transition into the next track ‘Revolving Doors’ is really well done. Unfortunately, as with much of the rest of the album, that’s all it is. Nice. Inoffensive, somewhat interesting, but not gripping or engrossing at all.

One notable exception that does make this album somewhat worthwhile is the track ‘Amarillo.’ With this song, Gorillaz turn down the electro-fiddling and restrain themselves enough to come off sounding similar to an indie band like TV on the Radio’s softer side. A very catchy melody is combined with controlled vocals and a soothing, but driving drum beat to easily claim highlight of the album. However, this one track is hardly enough to save The Fall from mediocrity.

Perhaps if their material was properly worked out in a studio so that they could recognize which were their good songs (like ‘Amarillo’) and which were forgettable filler (like, oh, the rest of the album), Gorillaz really could have grabbed our attention once again with something captivating and glorious. Or, perhaps this is just another reason that the iPad sucks (no multitasking? Come on). Perhaps we can blame it on the fact that group was likely way too tired from performing their elaborate shows on stage several times a week to create any new material that doesn’t come across as bland or forced.

Whatever the explanation, the latest release from our favourite band of monkeys since The Monkees is just plain boring. Not bad, not gimmicky, but boring.



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user ratings (410)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Aids
Contributing Reviewer
January 4th 2011


24098 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

There's not much to this review, but then there's not much to the album either

Digging: Mitski - bury me at makeout creek

Urinetrouble
January 4th 2011


5764 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

eh albums okay. some good songs, some bad. He should do one last Gorillaz album thats not like this and is more demon days/plastic beach hybrid

Bulldog
January 4th 2011


3796 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

A mediocre offering from a band capable of so much more.


There's not much to this review, but then there's not much to the album either


ilu :3

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
January 4th 2011


24098 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I don't get it but ok

Bulldog
January 4th 2011


3796 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

Sure, some will say that this is a gimmick, but if the music is good, it won’t really matter.

Luckily the music is good. Kind of.


Few things to change here. First, you should change "won't" to "doesn't", it makes your writing seem less knowledgeable and more predictive, almost as if you haven't even listened to the album. That sentence, solely based on the "won't," seems like something I'd find in the news article thread for the album.

Also, I think you had a good idea with your last two sentences, but that they could be stylized to make that idea more realized. I'd stylize it as,

Luckily, the music is good.

Kind of.


Good review though, gets the job done, unlike this album. Pos'd.

Bulldog
January 4th 2011


3796 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

I don't get it but ok


The summary basically epitomizes my general thoughts on the album, and while other people chose to ignore it, you acknowledge the fact that the album is, at least in principle, pretty simple.

Subsequently, I love you.

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
January 4th 2011


24098 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

hahaha thanks, got it.

SCREAMorphine
January 4th 2011


1762 Comments


Good review POS

I used to love the singles off Demon Days when I around 12,

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
January 4th 2011


24098 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

thanks but YOU DIDNT POS

SCREAMorphine
January 4th 2011


1762 Comments


ahaha, I forgot, sorry about that, just did

Irving
Staff Reviewer
January 4th 2011


7321 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Decent review. Have a pos. That being said, the tone of this album sounds like a 2.0 at the very least (whereas you have it at a 3.0). I'm really just splitting hairs here though.

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
January 4th 2011


24098 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

the tone of the review you mean?

yah, to be honest I went into this with the intention of giving it a 2.5 but I listened to the stream as I wrote and 'Amarillo' is so good I had to bump it up from 'average'

spillingmercury
January 5th 2011


877 Comments


Nice review. Guessing I should just listen to that one song and ignore the rest of the album?

I was kind of shocked this was considered an album or LP or whatever; I don't doubt Albarn as a songwriter but this project even sounded like it'd be really unpolished and rough. Plastic Beach is still relatively new, too.

Jash
January 5th 2011


4244 Comments


the perfect amount of zazz in this review for a pos. you're getting better every time brah

Irving
Staff Reviewer
January 5th 2011


7321 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yup, I meant to say tone of the review LOL - sorry!

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
January 5th 2011


24098 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

no don't ignore the rest of the album. it's still good, as the rating suggests. who knows, you may like it more than I do. I could see it being enjoyable if you approach it the right way. Like don't expect anything big sounding or catchy, because there's nothing like that here.

thanks for the pos' my nigs

Tyrael
January 5th 2011


20972 Comments


I really, really like Revolving Doors, the rest not so much. Pos'd.



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