With Plastic Beach, Gorillaz enters their third album sadly blending in with most of today’s cookie cutter pop and hip hop. While past albums had standout singles, and this is no different, it feels like they have lost a bit of what made them different. An overabundance of cameos from artists like Snoop Dogg, to a heavily underused Mos Def, seem tacked on last minute, and never add much to the song. There is one exception to this though in Bobby Womack, who seems to elevate both of the songs he graces. Indeed, on an album of sixteen tracks only four are untainted by others.
Not to say this is a bad album, it’s just convoluted, almost to the point of a mess. Tracks do not flow as well as they did on Feel Good, Inc. The first single “Stylo” is a good start, reminiscent of “Clint Eastwood”, with Bobby Womack raising it almost to the level of gospel. His other track, “Cloud of Unknowing”, is a sullen track. It feels like a song from some other album got misplaced, but it is a welcome alternative to some of the silly rap-laden tracks like “Superfast Jellyfish”, a song about breakfast.
Oddly enough, my favorite track, “Glitter Freeze”, has barely any lyrics in it at all, just a rhythmic beat that sounds almost industrial. It made me think of drills and machinery. The other standout, “Rhinestone Eyes”, plays like a spurned lover, abandoned and remorseful for eyes he loved in a girl, expressed only like Damon Albarn can.
Plastic Beach is a good album, but only for four or five tracks, easily downloaded from Amazon for a few dollars. But those few are great, and worth a five spot.
Download these: ”Glitter Freeze (Feat. Mark E Smith)“, “Rhinestone Eyes“, and “Cloud Of Unknowing (Feat. Bobby Womack And Sinfonia ViVA)”
By: Joey Esquivel
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