Gorillaz
The Fall


3.0
good

Review

by Raul Stanciu STAFF
December 25th, 2010 | 15 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A quick review of the new Gorillaz album, "The Fall", recorded quick exclusively on an iPad.

A quick response after this year's "Plastic Beach", Damon Albarn(mastermind of Gorillaz) went on to create "The Fall", based entirely on iPad apps, with little to no real instruments added. The record was created as a diary to the band's North American tour - hence the track titles "Detroit", "Phoner To Arizona", "Bobby In Phoenix" - and it was finished very fast, with no post-recording studio work on it. It is still heavy on synths like "Plastic Beach", but the songs are stripped of the many layers of instruments or orchestras. Overall "The Fall" is a more immediate album, still an eclectic mix of sounds, this time similar to some tracks on their eponymous album.

There are many instrumentals on this record, each very different, ranging from the bass heavy "Phoner To Arizona", which reminds of the D-Sides opener "68 State" (not the best first impression over the new record), to the unfortunately short, but fun disco "Detroit". There is also a short, WTF moment on "Seattle Yodel".

Some darker instrumentals are to be found on the album, like the eerie synths on "Little Plastic Bags" and the Moby-like ambient loops of "The Snake In Dallas". These short pieces of music are not bad, but they could have been extended and added some vocals because they sound empty most of the times.

Luckily, there are some sung tracks that immediately make the difference on the record. The highlights are "Amarillo", with some lovely, mournful vocals and a sparse piano lead that create a great, haunting vibe on the song and "HillBilly Man" which begins with Albarn singing over a lonely, bluesy acoustic guitar riff, before exploding into a big, lazy hip hop beat with MCs and a "Doncamatic"-like accordion loop.
There are some other good tracks like "Bobby In Phoenix", which is an almost-country number filled with Bobby Womack's soulful vocals, but it doesn't quite match the beauty and the unique vibe of "Cloud Of Unknowing".

"The Fall" features some missed tracks because of their short length, the biggest flaw here, mostly visible on "Detroit" and "The Parish Of Space Dust" which ends before it even builds up. It could've been an amazing track because after a "I need a small vacation" radio-switching intro, begins a beautiful 50's movies-like orchestra with Damon and some background vocalists singing over, but after a few verses the song just ends..

Albarn said "If I left it until the New Year to release it, then the cynics out there would say, 'Oh well, it's been tampered with.' But if I put it out now, they'd know that I haven't done anything because I've been on tour ever since." This fear of avoiding arguments that the songs have been treated outside the iPad, pulls "The Fall" down: they are half finished, many having no vocals and being too short. This only makes it feel like a P-Sides with many influences of "Plastic Beach" found on it. There was no rush in releasing it, Damon could have spent some more time, even on his iPad not a studio, to finish the songs properly.

Aside from that major flaw,"The Fall" is an interesting experiment of how much you can do with less and rely exclusively on technology, it only pushes further the boundaries Gorillaz set with "Plastic Beach" this year. Now you can expect just about anything from Damon.

Highlights - "Amarillo", "HillBilly Man", "The Parish Of Space Dust", "Detroit"



Recent reviews by this author
Brant Bjork JacoozziThe Brian Jonestown Massacre The Brian Jonestown Massacre
Tim Bowness Flowers At The SceneMy Life with the Thrill Kill Kult In the House of Strange Affairs
Motorpsycho The CrucibleFront Line Assembly Wake Up the Coma
user ratings (685)
Chart.
2.6
average
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • JViney EMERITUS (2)
    Gorillas are a threatened species. Gorillaz might be joining them at this rate....

    SowingSeason STAFF (3.5)
    Like an electronically influenced hip-hop dream, The Fall progresses effortlessly to form ...

    Deviant. STAFF (2.5)
    A 43 minute promotional advertisement that money just can't buy...

    Aids (3)
    A mediocre offering from a band capable of so much more....

  • cometstail2 (3)
    "No one can deny the genius behind the album’s lush, carefully crafted production or the...

    ModernGuilt (3.5)
    Damon Albarn and his musical misfits go on a road trip....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Urinetrouble
December 25th 2010


5771 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

nnice review. This is def my next review too. Want to see the staff review this. Also, albums pretty good, might be thier last

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
December 25th 2010


4753 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

thanks , i tried to make it as fast as i could ) to be the first. good luck with your review :D. i'm also curious what the staff will say about The Fall.

Digging: Fennesz - Agora

AliW1993
December 25th 2010


7511 Comments


Pretty good review. I'll probably wait for the physical release to hear this.

Urinetrouble
December 25th 2010


5771 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Its very electronica heavy thats for sure. I think Damon will go in an electronica direction for his eventual solo career

SowingSeason
Moderator
December 25th 2010


30221 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

if i get bored maybe i'll stream it and review it, but its christmas so im going to go play with my toys ; )

Digging: Glen Hansard - This Wild Willing

Irving
Staff Reviewer
December 25th 2010


7502 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Dang I was hoping to do this, but you beat me to it lol.



Edit: Solid review; pos.

eternium
December 25th 2010


16354 Comments


That was fast.

KILL
December 25th 2010


81232 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

dude give it time to soak in at least

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
December 25th 2010


4753 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

@ KILL - I listened to the album all day long, I didn't plan to do any review after I kinda screwed up with the Plastic Beach review, but the album soaked in and then I changed my mind. I know it's a bit early but I made my opinion about it.

SowingSeason
Moderator
December 25th 2010


30221 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

the formatting/paragraphs look awkward but i dunno

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
December 25th 2010


4753 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

@ SowingSeason - I tried to put a paragraph when needed, but here it doesn't appear and it just starts from the beginning of the row. I edited it once but still nothing changed.

SowingSeason
Moderator
December 25th 2010


30221 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

yeah sometimes the formatting here can be quirky

tomr4
December 25th 2010


192 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

anyone know what apps were used to make this thing?

KILL
December 25th 2010


81232 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

al yea gorillaz get worse with every release

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
December 26th 2010


4753 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

@tomr4 - I found this on a blog - apps - Speak It!, SoundyThingie, Mugician, SoloSynth, Synth,

Funk Box, Gliss, AmpliTube, Xenon, iElectribe, BS-16i, M3000 HD, Cleartune, iOrgel, Olsynth, StudioMiniXI, BassLine, Harmonizer, Dub Siren Pro, Moog Filatron





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





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 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy