Gorillaz
The Fall


2.0
poor

Review

by Joseph Viney STAFF
January 12th, 2011 | 53 replies | 24,510 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Gorillas are a threatened species. Gorillaz might be joining them at this rate.

King Solomon said that “all is vanity” and he must be commended for accurately describing The Fall, Gorillaz new album, thousands of years ahead of its release.

In the latest attempt at breaking down the walls of Fortress Music Industry, Albarn made this full length 15-track LP available for the tempting price of £zero on Christmas Day. He was by no means the first high-profile artist to do so; The Artist Formerly Known As The Artist Formerly Known As Prince giving away Planet Earth free with the UK’s tabloid bum-rag Daily Mail and Radiohead managing to guilt some people into exchanging even a scant amount of money for In Rainbows.

Is free music free from criticism? Not at all. Unfortunately, despite Albarn embracing new technology (the album being recorded solely on an iPad) and with the consumer needing no monetary commitment, there is still a lot missing.

Stripped of its predecessor’s richer, fuller sounds The Fall sounds immediately flatter and pared down. Opening track “Phoner To Arizona” sets the tone, a wordless mish-mash of loops and beeps. It sounds like a menagerie of farts and is completely uninspiring. Not a good start for the man who had a large hand in creating the breathless “Clint Eastwood” and the funky “Feel Good Inc.”

A better choice for the album’s opener would have been the following track, “Revolving Doors.” Albarn’s distinctive voice lamenting his ‘revolving doors’ and ‘revolving days’ over a smooth classical guitar sound. His vocals here and on other tracks are reminiscent of the down-on-his-luck crooner persona so ably deployed on “Country Sad Ballad Man” from Blur’s eponymous late 90s album.

The Fall is a road-album, created during a Gorillaz US tour in 2010 and the sense of movement, alien environments and paranoia is evident throughout. Even the song titles are in some way inspired by the feeling of momentum that a tour must induce; “Detroit”, “The Snake In Dallas”, “Amarillo” (don’t worry, it’s not a cover of the karaoke favourite) and “Bobby In Phoenix”, featuring a smooth and soulful cameo from Bobby Womack, are just a few of the geographically enhanced titles on offer.

The rest of the album continues in a lamentably wasteful way. “The Parish Of Space Dust” drawls itself to sleep with repetitive music and barely audible voice samples stuttering away in the background. “Aspen Forest” is another go-nowhere track in a similar vein. You only wish more effort could have been put in to the whole enterprise.

Gorillaz was founded on its sense of collaboration and willingness to experiment. The latter element is present, the former is not. Indeed, during the instrumental tracks you can’t help but imagine whether some scheduled guest vocalists had missed appointments with Mr. Albarn and he had to make do with what he had. Strictly speaking, it’s a Gorillaz album in name only. You could commend Albarn on one hand, but then slap him with the other; the use of a ‘rolling studio’ and the latest in technology is inspired, but it ultimately represents the downfall of the album.

On Gorillaz’s website, the legal eagles are circling; The Fall “may not be sold, transferred, altered or copied (including burning and uploading to the internet) without the express prior written approval of EMI Records Ltd.” Whilst these sentiments are the equivalent of pissing into the wind nowadays, Albarn & Co. might well be missing a trick. Why not take the ideas of people like Trent Reznor and Buckethead and make the various layers and samples available to fans to create their own album? One suspects that if this were so, the true aim of Gorillaz could finally be realised.



Recent reviews by this author
Morrissey World Peace Is None Of Your BusinessArchie Bronson Outfit Wild Crush
Manic Street Preachers FuturologySweet Apple The Golden Age of Glitter
Parquet Courts Sunbathing AnimalSKATERS Manhattan
user ratings (387)
Chart.
2.6
average
other reviews of this album
1 of

Comments:Add a Comment 
Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
January 12th 2011



30868 Comments


the use of a ‘rolling studio’


Ha, I said the exact same thing

Digging: FaltyDL - In The Wild

Curse.
Contributing Reviewer
January 12th 2011



7970 Comments


he probably ripped you off Dev, you shoulda copyrighted that shit

cvlts
January 12th 2011



8954 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I've written quite a few far fetched reviews, but that opening sentence is up there for melodrama.

JViney
Staff Reviewer
January 12th 2011



322 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Honestly, Deviant, I had no idea you'd done a review for this. A genuine coincidence. Besides, the sentence in question probably springs up in other reviews for this LP I should imagine.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
January 12th 2011



30868 Comments


Dude, don't worry about it. I only mentioned because I found it coincidental, pretty common thing to say given when they made this album too.

Good review btw, but i'm not fond of that menagerie of farts line, it kinda sticks out a bit

Tyrael
January 12th 2011



20727 Comments


"Gorillas are a threatened species."

Don't you mean an endangered species?

JViney
Staff Reviewer
January 12th 2011



322 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Ok cool. No worries, Deviant.

As for the "menagerie of farts" bit, I thought it was the best bit! The person I read the review back to choked on cake at that line. Or perhaps they just need assistance when eating. Who knows?

This Life is Genocide - Melodramatic, yes. I was looking for that, to be a bit wry and sarcastic with it.

JViney
Staff Reviewer
January 12th 2011



322 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Tyraelxy - It appears that 'threatened' and 'endangered' are both applicable; the latter being the most common use it seems, but hey.

Tyrael
January 12th 2011



20727 Comments


Really? I didn't know that...Not that my english is that good or anything. Review is good.

JViney
Staff Reviewer
January 12th 2011



322 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Your English is fine, mate. Thank you for the compliment. I enjoyed your Ke$ha review. Not my kind of thing, but the wife enjoys it so you've influenced a sale!

Tyrael
January 12th 2011



20727 Comments


Sorry man now you have to listen to her! Well I guess that's a massive compliment, send a big thanks
to the wife!

Irving
Staff Reviewer
January 12th 2011



7140 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I gave a pos, but there's some things seriously worth considering; I'll list them for convenience:

i.) Consider merging your (many) paragraphs. Many are just one or two sentences long and give the impression of being "throwaway" lines.

ii.) Although well-written, your logical flow kinda...saltates a bit. What I mean by this is that it hops, skips, and jumps without necessarily following a logical progression of thought. Many bits of arguments/information seem to be a.) under-developed, or b.) separated by an entirely new line of thought, which makes the reading experience a little less exhilarating.

All told, you're on the right track though. Keep it up and I hope this helps. Cheers!

bloc
January 12th 2011



34669 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I love your summary!

Digging: Anberlin - Lowborn

klap
Staff Reviewer
January 12th 2011



10257 Comments


influenced a sale bahahahaha

Digging: The Bilinda Butchers - Heaven

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
January 12th 2011



23798 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

good review, I guess I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt, I gave them a 3 in mine

it's still a nice album, just really boring

Spare
January 13th 2011



5250 Comments


hey is it just me or is this guy uh staff

Digging: Radiator Hospital - Torch Song

cvlts
January 13th 2011



8954 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

wait wut?

Spare
January 13th 2011



5250 Comments


omigawd so confuz

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
January 13th 2011



14986 Comments


"Is free music free from criticism? Not at all. Unfortunately, despite Albarn embracing new
technology (the album being recorded solely on an iPad) and with the consumer needing no monetary
commitment, there is still a lot missing."

i dont get how these really relate. also, though maybe it's some silly play on words thing, who
would suggest that "free music" is "free from criticism"? also, i think you should explain -what- is
"missing"

"Stripped of its predecessor’s richer, fuller sounds The Fall sounds immediately flatter and pared
down."

comma after "sounds"

"Albarn’s distinctive voice lamenting his ‘revolving doors’ and ‘revolving days’ over a smooth
classical guitar sound."

not a sentence, although in itself "albarn's voice lamenting his" is weird

"The Fall is a road-album, created during a Gorillaz US tour in 2010 and the sense of movement,
alien environments and paranoia is evident throughout."

someone correct me on this; should there be a comma after 2010?

"The Fall is a road-album, created during a Gorillaz US tour in 2010 and the sense of movement,
alien environments and paranoia is evident throughout. Even the song titles are in some way inspired
by the feeling of momentum that a tour must induce; “Detroit”, “The Snake In Dallas”, “Amarillo”
(don’t worry, it’s not a cover of the karaoke favourite) and “Bobby In Phoenix”, featuring a smooth
and soulful cameo from Bobby Womack, are just a few of the geographically enhanced titles on offer."


this paragraph sort of comes out of nowhere; especially strange considering that the ones before it
and after are directly related and are well placed right next to each other.

i'm also not exactly sure what the last paragraph is aiming at. maybe my fault


good review

foreverendeared
January 13th 2011



14678 Comments


"someone correct me on this; should there be a comma after 2010?"

yes there should be



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 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy