Gorillaz – Plastic Beach
I’ve been hovering around getting into hip hop for a while now. Colin knows I’ve always appreciated artists like the Beastie Boys and Jay-Z, despite not really knowing their work, and there certainly has been rap elements in the music I enjoy before. So I guess this was some excellent timing on Gorillaz’s part, because this is the most rap-heavy of their albums yet.
Don’t get me wrong, that’s always been a strong element of a Gorillaz album. But there’s also usually been more poppy songs to balance that out, like “Feel Good, Inc.” Instead, Platic Beach is much more laid back. No one is going to be dancing to this, the most I could expect is maybe some head bobbing. Damon Albarn frequently lets guest artists take the mic, relegating himself to just the chorus or not at all in many of the album’s tracks. Ultimately, I missed the Demon Days approach, but am growing to appreciate this new release.
Basically, you can understand what this album is going for by listening to lead single “Stylo.” Mos Def and Bobby Womack do most of the vocal work over a driving beat that seems somewhat reminiscent of like an 80s cop movie. At first I was really surprised and somewhat disappointed by that track, but after a couple days, I couldn’t get it out of my head. Also, weird Bruce Willis music video. Anyway, this is an interesting LP and it’s weird to think that this is coming from the guy from Blur. Do with that what you will.
Favorite Tracks: “Stylo (feat. Mos Def & Bobby Womack),” “On Melancholy Hill,” “Plastic Beach (feat. Mick Jones & Paul Simonon)”