Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Gorillaz: Plastic Beach

I found it hard to believe that Gorillaz hadn't put out anything since 2005 ... five years is a long time between albums (unless you're Guns N' Roses).  Perhaps I had my expectations set too high after five Gorillaz-less years, or perhaps the lack of involvement of Danger Mouse took it's toll, but Plastic Beach is not up to the standard set by Demon Days.

The first clue that I was about to be let down by Beach should've been the first track with vocals, which featured the rhymes of Snoop Dogg.  I've never been a fan of the D-O-double-G, or any of his rap-izzles (what?).  However, I was tricked after that when the album's two best songs, "White Flag" and "Rhinestone Eyes," followed directly thereafter.  The rest of the album, with the exception of "Sweepstakes" (featuring white people's favorite rapper, Mos Def) is mediocre. 

I don't know if I can put my finger on the specific reason why Beach doesn't earn the favor that Days does, but Beach lacks something -- harder beats, glitchy-ness, experimentation, heart -- something.  And the experimentation that comes on some songs falls flat (like the random dude belting it out at the end of "Stylo," or the random chick singing at the end of "Empire Ants," totally ruining both tracks for me), although I appreciated the freshness of "Superfast Jellyfish."  The track "Rhinestone Eyes" seems reminiscent of past Gorillaz efforts:

Grade: C+
Blurb: It's not bad ... it's just not that good (that's what mediocre means).  After five years, I expected a bit more punch.

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