The Gorillaz were the first virtual band. There had been fake bands before, but the musicians hiding between the cartoon characters took it one step further. Basically the brain child of Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett the "band" released the succesfull self-titled album in 2001, with the follow-up Demon Days in 2005. The new one, Plastic Beach, is their most ambitious to date.
Albarn is musician's musician and picks up the phone to invite an artist to play on his new project changes are that they come running. On Plastic Beach he pulled off a stunt by getting Mick Jones and Paul Simonon to play together again, something that hadn't happened since The Clash broke up. That is nearly as difficult as getting Lou Reed and John Cale in the same to perform. Reed is on it, delivering the deadpan lyrics of Some Kind of Nature. The main music style on this album is hip-hop mixed with Britpop. The lead single Superfast Jellyfish has Gruff Rhys of the Super Furry Animals with rap veterans De La Soul.
Despite the impressive guest list, Plastic Beach, is a bit of disappointment. The ideas are still there, and the latter day Krautrock pastische Empire Ants is a hit among the many misses. The Gorillaz have been stuck on their mythical plastic beach island a bit too long. The notes that have been washed up on the shore lack bite and texture.
Gorillaz will headline the April 18 final day of this year's Coachella festival in Indio, CA.
Plastic Beach is released on Captiol (USA) and Virgin. Release date: March 9.Tracks:
- Orchestral Intro (feat. sinfonia ViVA)
- Welcome To The World of The Plastic Beach (feat. Snoop Dogg and Hypnotic Brass Ensemble)
- White Flag (feat. Bashy, Kano and The National Orchestra For Arabic Music)
- Rhinestone Eyes
- Stylo (Album Version) (feat. Mos Def and Bobby Womack)
- Superfast Jellyfish (feat. Gruff Rhys and De La Soul)
- Empire Ants (feat. Little Dragon)
- Glitter Freeze (feat. Mark E Smith)
- Some Kind of Nature (feat. Lou Reed)
- On Melancholy Hill
- Sweepstakes (feat. Mos Def and Hypnotic Brass Ensemble)
- Plastic Beach (feat. Mick Jones and Paul Simonon)
- To Binge (feat. Little Dragon)
- Cloud of Unknowing (feat. Bobby Womack and sinfonia ViVA)
- Pirate Jet
Video: Gorillaz - Stylo