Oh mah lawd, y’all. Here it is. My REVIEW. of. PLASTIC BEACH.
I know, I know, not a big deal. You’d rather read some review by Pitchfork or Under the Radar or something along those lines. Sure, that’s cool. Professional, cool. Alright. BUT, this is the people’s take. Haha, wow this is a tangent.
So let’s dive right in! Get it? Cause it kind of has a nautical theme? Okay, that was dumb.
Just FYI, there are no “Feel Good Inc’s” or “Clint Eastwood’s”, or other stickout-super-single-dance-awesomeness-singles, but it makes up for this with it’s overall lushness and consistency.
It starts with an enigmatic orchestral intro that is actually quite nice. It is also the music that started the “tour” of the Plastic Beach. Next is the groove starter, with Welcome to the World of the Plastic Beach. This song features Snoop Dogg and I feel like even though it sounds sort of silly with all his “Crack-A-Lackin'”, it fits well as the second song on the album. If they placed this anywhere else in the album, it would be a real buzzkill. This really gets the momentum going for the rest of the album to use. Snoop Dogg makes a nice greeter. I hope he starts working at a Meijer or something: “Welcome to the World of Meijer, dawg”. Thanks, Snoop Dogg. You keep being you.
Alright, so next is White Flag featuring Bashy, Kano, and the National Orchestra for Arabic Music. Bashy and Kano pass some sweet raps to eachother while the Orchestra plays while they take a break. The Orchestra really fits well with this “Island theme” and creates a nice picture in your head. Bashy and Kano’s raps are nice at the beginning, but get kind of old after awhile. Some great stuff on the way.
This is about where the album really starts moving, and the album’s heart starts pumping out good sauce. Rhinestone Eyes, which really is a really nice track for Albarn’s “2D” slower vocals. The lyrics are nice, and the amount of electronic effects are just right. After is Stylo, which you probably all know (if you have read my blog previously). Mos Def laying down some crackling rhymes, Albarn sweet vocals, and Bobby Womack’s crazy preachin’ voice really gets you into it. Then Superfast Jellyfish, where De La Soul raps about breakfast. Always fun. Really reminds me of a 60’s commercial. Yes, even with the rap.
After Jellyfish is one of my favorite songs on the album, Empire Ants featuring Little Dragon. When Albarn is singing, it reminds me of their song Hong Kong, which I also really like. Then when Little Dragon comes in, the sound is beautiful. The lead singer, Yukimi Nagano, has a great voice for this sort of song, and the lyrics are sweet. After that is a great electro-jam out named Glitter Freeze. Ireally like all the effects put into it, makes me think of the future. Next is Some Kind of Nature featuring Lou Reed. Lou Reed was the lead singer of the great band The Velvet Underground. This song is really groovy and Reed’s voice fits really well into the mix.
On Melancholy Hill is next, and personally, I didn’t really like this one as much. I don’t know. It just doesn’t do it for me on this one. BUT, it gets right up on it’s feet with Broken, another one of my favorites. The beginning reminds me of Pikmin. But Albarn’s voice is perfect on this one, and the chorus is very emotional. I also like the cheesy sythesized strings during the chorus. What. It’s good.
Next is Sweepstakes featuring Mos Def and Hypnotic Brass Ensemble. Mos Def is awesome on this track, and it all feels really natural. The build until the end is excellent, too. At first I didn’t really get it, but after a few listens I found I got it. After is Plastic Beach featuring Mick Jones and Paul Simonon. This one, again, I didn’t really get at first listen. I really like the chorus with the bleeps and blips in the background. Then is To Binge, where they bring back Little Dragon. Nagano’s vocals are ghostly and Albarn’s are normal, I guess. Good song.
The second to last song is Cloud of Unknowing, where Bobby Womack returns for a very soulful performance. Awesome. Last is Pirate Jet, which is a Velvet Underground-sounding closer. This is sort of like the last song on Demon Days which is named Demon Days. With the sort of chorus and trailing ending; the lyrics have good placement as well, so I guess it works. HA!
WOW! It’s over. Sorry if I typed too much, I just had some descriptions I had to word out. So in my opinion, this ranks up there with the other Gorillaz albums, and it doesn’t disappoint me in the least. My score is 89%. This was a great listen, and I’m really glad it didn’t let me down after about 3 months of anticipation.
If you have heard the album/certain tracks, leave comments below! Or if you have some stuff to say, comment! Have a good day!