The much-anticipated third album for the Gorillaz‘s, Plastic Beach, is quickly finding its way into the musical stairway of the media. Similar to the Gorillaz‘s past two album releases, producers Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett coordinated an eclectic track listing for both the listeners and the collaboration of artists featured on the fifteen song track list for Plastic Beach.
The album begins simply with a cinematic “Orchestral Intro,” followed by a second (more righteous) welcoming by Snoop Dogg on “Welcome to the World of the Plastic Beach.” This track is especially flavorful, with its use of a nine-piece brass ensemble featuring a trumpet player from the tribal orchestra Sun-Ra Arkestra. Plastic Beach plays on with music that bears the resemblance of strawberries, peaches, and bananas chaotically thrown together in a blender and spun on the highest speed possible; just waiting for the lid to pop off.
“Rhinestone Eyes” has a superlicious Beck undertone, as it is one of the rare tracks where Damon is heard singing solo. I visualize small flurries of velvet reigning down. “Stylo” is the funkified bass upheaval that has its very own hi-def music video, just to prove how badass the Gorillaz really can be. Mos Def lays down smooth as jelly lyrics while Bobby Womack BOOMS, “If this looooove is electric, it would be flowing through the streets, night after night; just to get through the week.” The video features Murdoc and his crew on a high-speed car chase through the desert, featuring none other than Bruce Willis. You can watch the YouTube video for “Stylo” HERE.
As you continue listening, the album truly demonstrates the twisting of sound that the Gorillaz have to offer. I was ambivalent about the overall effect; until I heard the track “Glitter Freeze,” where Plastic Beach immediately goes from ‘Funk’ to ‘Punk’ with some serious urban beats. It’s no wonder this track is reminiscent of the tune “Dare” from Demon Days.
“Some Kind of Nature” is simply classic Gorillaz, ’nuff said. Lou Reed is perfect for aiding the chorus of this tune. “Some Kind of Nature” would be the soundtrack to playing hopscotch or jump-rope; it’s mysteriously playful and delectably joyful.
The remainder of the album is dreamy and systematically airy. The title track, “Plastic Beach”, has a killer opening guitar riff that reminds you how unbelievably electric the love really can be. Bobby Womack returns on “Cloud of Unknowing.” Womack is best known for his 40 year long singer-songwriter career and helping the Rolling Stones get their first hit UK hit. The 9-piece brass ensemble does circular motion for its return on the final track, “Pirate Jet.”
Gorillaz truly masters the mothership of said legoland on this album; it hits all the right musical pressure points. Iced-umbrella beverage by my side, volume turned to maximum, my face and eardrums melt in the hieroglyphic sunlight. Considering the master recording of Plastic Beach was produced on an un-disclosed island in the Pacific Southwest, they may have been doing just that.
An additional note; surrounding the release of this album, Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlitt created a media frenzy of their own by featuring “Murdoc’s Pirate Radio” tweet on their website www.gorillaz.com, to allow immediate listener-based interaction. The two producers also meticulously scheduled the album release date of Plastic Beach world-wide to ensure quality listening from its entire fan base. The Gorillaz are scheduled to headline Coachella in Indio, California on April 18th, 2010.
LostinSound’s Favorite Tracks Off “Plastic Beach”:
The Gorillaz recently announced a UK Tour to warm up for their upcoming Coachella performance, and what is sure to be a U.S. Summer tour (we hope).
Gorillaz 2010 Tour Dates:
03/21 – Portsmouth, UK @ Wedgewood Rooms
03/22 – Bristol, UK @ Trinity
03/23 – Cambridge, UK @ Junction
03/25 – Brighton, UK @ Old Market
03/26 – Birmingham, UK @ Irish Centre
03/27 – Lincoln, UK @ Shed
04/18 – Indio, CA @ Coachella Music Festival
Murdoc: Sabbath, Dub, J Andrew Anderson, Dennis Wilson, Satan
2-D: Butorphanol Tartate, Phil Oakey, Lucio Fulci
Russel: Farrakhan, Chaka Khan
Noodle: Haiku Poetry, Lao Zi, Richie Sambora