The new Gorillaz album is definitely their worst offering to date. Don’t believe what all the music critics out there would have you believe, they’re full of shit and so is this album.
This album will confuse you. You’ll think it’s interesting and cute at first, but after a few listens you’ll concede that like toilet spray, all the aural bells and whistles that saturate this album are nothing more than a thin disguise to try and hide the fact that this album stinks.
In my humble opinion, Damon Albarn, the creative genius behind The Gorillaz (and former frontman of the best Britpop band to ever play, Blur) is running out of ideas. He collaborates with no less than 15 different artists on this heap of dung album, which probably explains why listening to it feels the same way trying to do long division sums in your head used to back when you still remembered how.
Never trust a pop album that opens with classical music. What that tells you right from the outset is that it’s trying to be something it’s not. Throw that shit the fuck away.
‘Welcome to the World of the Plastic Beach’ featuring Snoop Dogg is, in two simple words, fucking boring. One critic commented how Snoop has never sounded so chilled and laid back in a track before. Yeah, that’s because he’s not even fucking trying!
I don’t like rap at the best of times, but the way Albarn has allowed it to overrun this album is nauseating. Toneless, repetitive and banal, tracks like ‘White Flag (featuring Bashy, Kano & The National Orchestra for Arabic Music)’ (I know, what the fuck?) and ‘Sweepstakes (featuring Mos Def & Hypnotic Brass Ensemble)’ are so utterly devoid of the quirky intelligence that used to define Gorillaz that they’ll have you banging your head against a wall to get a little mental stimulation going.
The good news is that, with 18 tracks on the album, there are at least some that find their mark. ‘Rhinestone Eyes’, has a nursery rhyme kind of charm to it that, combined with the sinister synth undertones in the chorous is a lot closer to the Gorillaz we all know and love.
‘Stylo (featuring Mos Def & Bobby Womack)’ is also a pretty decent, retro R&B track that kind of sounds like the Flight Of The Conchords track ‘Inner City Pressure’ and ‘Superfast Jellyfish (featuring Gruff Rhys & De La Soul)’ is quirky enough to remain interesting and is reminiscent of ‘19-2000’ (‘got the cool shoeshine’) off their eponymous debut album.
The best track by far on the album is ‘Some Kind Of Nature’ featuring Lou Reed of all people. It’s a classic Gorillaz track and probably the closest the album comes to delivering a ‘Clint Eastwood’ or ‘Feel Good Inc.’
Besides that, there really isn’t much to say about this album. The general feeling I get from listening to it is similar to the way Sunday night feels after an awesome weekend. You’ll find yourself gazing off contemplatively a lot when listening to Plastic Beach, wandering what the hell happened to put such a downer on the brilliantly-written pop masterpieces that adorned the previous two albums.
Final Verdict: 5/10