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81 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The soundtrack for summer 2010 has arrived
This album fits together more elegantly than the previous Gorillaz albums. It plays like the smooth, laid-back soundtrack to a long lie in the sun (perhaps in the garden, or, if you have one to hand, on a beach). The slightly soporific/hypnotic spell is broken by the chaotic party music of Sweepstakes - but that track is a fun, intense ride.

Expect a slightly...
Published on 3 Mar 2010 by Suzabella

versus
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I suppose it could be called a work of genius, but .....
Huge Gorillaz fan. Huge Damon Albarn fan - in my opinion he's verging on a musical genius, and no-one else around at the moment can touch him for sheer eclectic talent. However ......... I really wanted to like this album, but I'm afraid it doesn't come close to the other two - especially Demon Days. For me, it's just too Americanised - by which I mean too "rappy" and...
Published on 27 Jun 2010 by lifelongdylan fan


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81 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The soundtrack for summer 2010 has arrived, 3 Mar 2010
By 
This review is from: Plastic Beach (Audio CD)
This album fits together more elegantly than the previous Gorillaz albums. It plays like the smooth, laid-back soundtrack to a long lie in the sun (perhaps in the garden, or, if you have one to hand, on a beach). The slightly soporific/hypnotic spell is broken by the chaotic party music of Sweepstakes - but that track is a fun, intense ride.

Expect a slightly slower pace than Demon Days, and, instead of the latter album's mood of "help - the apocolypse is coming", a feel of "okay, here we are in a post-apocolyptic world, let's make the best of it". How you react to that message is up to you.

What's amazing about this music is that, even though it fits together so beautifully, there are so many different elements - western and arabic orchestral music, several flavours of rap (laid back, cheap & cheeky, intense & high), loose semi-improvised brass, dub, alternative rock, 70s and 80s electronica, comedy jingles, crooning, vocal harmonies, snippets that reminded me of Brian Eno, Jean Michel Jarre, David Bowie, Tangerine Dream, and many, many others, and that's before you even get to the various guest stars (Lou Reed, Mark E Smith, De La Soul, Little Dragon, Bobby Womack, Mos Def, Gruff Rhys, etc.) who each bring their own highly personal styles. The guests are fully integrated and feel completely authentic parts of the sound. There are moments that are sleepy, racy, romantic, funny, camp, cool, trippy, danceable, ghostly, nostalgic, futuristic.

This album has a chilled-out feel yet is packed with so much variety and so many overlapping layers of rhythm, sounds, intriguing words, and sweet counterpoint melodies that it will be very hard to get bored no matter how many times you listen.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ...And I wasn't dissapointed., 7 Mar 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Plastic Beach (Audio CD)
I pre-ordered this album after having a quick listen to the samples and liking them. I loved their previous album 'Demon Days', and so was really looking forward the long awaited next album from Gorillaz. And I have to say that I haven't been dissapointed. This album is more chilled out in a way, with a lot more orchestral tunes, almost hypnotic at times. But this does not make it any less of an achievment for them. Infact I really like it, it's different, but at the same time doesn't seem to vear away from the usual stuff we are all familliar with with the Gorillaz gang. I love this album, it's something different from them. I'm just glad it came so quick!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Just enjoy the gritty crunch, it tastes just like chicken", 16 Mar 2010
By 
I Like Cheese - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Plastic Beach (Audio CD)
Plastic Beach is the long-awaiting follow-up to the Gorillaz' 2005 album Demon Days and (for me, at least) is the first 'must buy' album of 2010 and is definitely going to be the soundtrack to my summer.

The tracks are a bit of a mixed bag, ranging from their usual indie/hip-hop crossover on tracks like "Sweepstakes" (with guest vocals from the awesome Mos Def) and "Superfast Jellyfish" (which is my favourite track from the whole album, making me realise how much I actually miss the light-hearted and upbeat raps from the timeless greats, De La Soul) to more darker, yet surprisingly mellow tunes such as "On Melancholy Hill" and "Glitter Freeze". The constant shift in styles is most welcome though as it offers a wide variety of concept sounds, some which are so abstract that they did actually take a few listens to before I actually even began to like them.

This is a great album, not one that I'd say will hit you with an instant favourite straight away but is most rewarding after a few listens. The sound is completely new from their previous albums but is excellent all the same. Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars NO RESTRAINT!!!, NO REPENT!!!!!, 13 Mar 2010
This review is from: Plastic Beach (Audio CD)
Well, where on earth do you start in disecting this album?. Do you start with what each of the numourous collaborations bring to the table?, just who or what is playing each part?, have Gorillaz expanded upon the sound they reached on 'Demon Days'?, or do you just sit back and listen to a master pop writer at the pinnacle of his/their game?. I tend to go with that last option.

Damon Albarn has long been seen as the modern day Ray Davies (of Kinks fame, all you young 'uns), singing of life in Britain and giving even the little things in life a romantic feel. The bitter Oasis/Blur feud left a sour taste in the mouth and gave rise to a generation of lamentable Brit-pop bands, in fact to my ears the mid-to-late 90's were the most depressing time for British music with only a handful of groups (such as Pulp, Suede and indeed Blur) coming out the other end with some credit and longevity. In the early 2000's Damon Albarn seemed to be going to every length to distance himself from this murky world of pub-rocker's and faux-feminist-cross-dressers and in 2002 recorded the Afican-influenced 'Mali Music' album which he recorded with Afel Bocoum & Toumani Diabaté (amongs others), then in 2003 came Blur's wonderful parting shot 'Think Tank' (which featured parts recorded in Morocco) and of course in 2007 came the Tony Allen, Paul Simonon and Simon Tong collabarated release 'The Good, The Bad And The Queen'. In between all this he has managed to find the time to release 2 albums primarily in collabaration with (Tank Girl creator) Jamie Hewlett.

Now here we are a full five years since the multi platinum selling 'Demon Days' (which featured an unforgettable cameo from Hollywood legend Dennis Hopper) comes Albarn & Hewlett's latest pop masterclass 'Plastic Beach'. A concept album set upon a mythical island built from detritus dumped into the Pacific Trash Vortex, the album contains various mentions of ecological concerns and even has some reaccuring characters. But to get bogged down in the specifics would be to miss the point, this is pop music first-and-foremost and it is played as if so. Guests such as Snoop Dog, Mark E. Smith, Lou Reed, Kano, Bashy, Mos Def, Bobby Womack and Gruff Rhys (amongs still more) give the album a real celebratory feel and each guest brings their own unique quality to the album. Early highlights include the Kano/Bashy duel 'White Flag' which features some tremendous percussion and Bollywood-esque strings, this is followed by the truly magnificent 'Rhinestone Eyes' which is surely to be released as a future single and could draw some compariosons to 2005's 'Dare' with it's driving beat and dark keyboard flourishes. Track 5 'Stylo' is the album's lead-off single and it's easy to see why, Albarn, Mos Def and Bobby Womack trade off over the bassline from Mis-Teeq's 'Scandalous' with Womack's part of particular note.

The second half of the album is just as strong with Lou Reed's wonderfully stated presence presiding over 'Some Kind Of Nature' being a definate high-point. It could be claimed that the album is a little too weighted towards the collabarations, and on the strengh of the handful of song's which are performed exclusively by Gorillaz, it is a fair arguament. Track 10 'On Melancholy Hill', 'Broken' and 'Pirate Jet' are some of the strongest song's on the entire set. Indeed, 'On Melancholy Hill' is probably my favourite moment, with it's title belaying it's incessant joyfullness and beautiful harmonies, all the while Albarn gives the sort of lost-little-boy vocal performance he's mastered over his career. I can't finish without mentioning the Mos Def led 'Sweepstakes' which get's itself into a modern R & B groove but ends with a New Orlean's style funeral march complete with all manner of Brass & percussion.

Overall the album is a superb pop creation which is sure to be enjoyed throughout the summer months, and only it's (slightly) too long length and the fact that not all of the collabaration's are quite as memorable as you'd hope (I'm looking your way Mark E. Smith, oh how I wanted that collabaration to work) stop it from being the 5 star masterpeice it so nearly is. If Amazon gave half-marks you can add another .5 to my 4 stars, as it is it'll have to settle for just the 4 stars.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An album that improves with listening, 29 Jun 2010
By 
Andrew Dalby "ardalby" (oxford) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Plastic Beach (MP3 Download)
Sometimes you buy an album for that great song you have heard and you love to hear it and there are a few other good tracks on the album but you keep listening and it loses its interest. Here Gorillaz have created something that improves over time. I bought it on the day it was released, listened to it once and thought - hmm well the other albums were much better. There is no Clint Eastwood or Feel Good Inc, there is no stand out song and too much rap.

Then I saw them at Glastonbury and a few songs shone through - White Flag and Glitter Freeze so I went back to listen again. Then I realised I had been missing out on something special Superfast Jellyfish, Rhinestone Eyes ... The Gorillaz still have it whatever it is. How can you describe a group that one second uses Brass, then mass strings and a Lebanese Orchestra while mixing it with rap and synth? Crazy and amazing fusion.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gorillaz Plastic Beach = Ear heaven, 12 Mar 2010
This review is from: Plastic Beach (Audio CD)
Plastic beach is a step up from the old Gorillaz (Which I thought was amazing) it's much more relaxing, slow, and soulful.

I think he only up-beat songs are Stylo and Superfast Jellyfish (And I'm not complaining!) they're both great songs,
but I think the other songs you could lie down on a beach (preferably plastic) and relax.
Stylo and superfast are more "boppy".

Don't change song because it's weird or not very good at first, almost every song on the album starts OK and start getting better, and better,
and better.
My favourite tracks are Empire Ants, Rhinestone Eyes, Plastic Beach, Welcome to the world of the Plastic Beach, and Stylo.

White Flag is really different, it's starts with a bongo solo with some orchestral stuff thrown in there and then a bassline comes in and Bashy starts rapping and then Kano, and ends the way it starts.

I can't think of a track that isn't "any good".

I highly recommend this album, the experience version for hardcore Gorillaz fans (like me)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It grew on me..., 11 April 2010
By 
Rachel Turley "Rachel" (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Plastic Beach (Audio CD)
I've been a fan of Gorillaz since I was 9 and naturally I have their first two albums. I wasn't overly excited when hearing about this album but I was still pretty eagar to hear their new stuff.

I admit when I first listened to it, I didn't like it at all. 'White Flag' and 'Superfast Jellyfish' were the only two songs I liked (and both still remain my favourite songs on the album with the addition of 'Sweepstakes'). But after a few more listens, the album did grow on me somewhat.
Though having said that, I do believe the first two albums where far better; I can listen to EVERY song on 'Gorillaz' and 'Demon Days'. With 'Plastic Beach' not so much.
To me, the first and last songs on an album have to be two of their stongest. Into songs actually work for me so I think 'Orchestral Intro' was a good way to start off the album (especially considering the song after that isn't at all that great). However, 'Pirate Jet' being the last song was a total let down. If you compare it to the last songs on the first albums which were '19-2000 (Soulchild Remix)' and 'Demon Days' it's very weak. Especially seen as those two songs have so much energy in them (even if '19-2000' is just a remix and 'Demon Days' is slow; The build up of it really lets the album finish on a high).
What also irked me about this album was how little singing Damon Albarn/2D did. I know that Gorillaz have done quite a few songs with featured artists but 12 our of the 16 songs are rappers/various artists. Which is fine if you're into rap. But for fans who aren't into that genre of music are going to struggle to like this album, I feel - Although, my brother has listened to 'Sweepstakes' and 'White Flag' and did enjoy them and he hates rap. So maybe that's the Gorillaz touch making it bearable.

Due to the fact that I wasn't so excited about it is probably the reson I didn't feel so let down like a few fans were - I think people were expecting this album to be like Demon Days. Which it isn't. In fact, it's completely different. As is the first album. If it weren't for the fact that I feel Gorillaz are so original in what they do and for the fact that the album grew on me over time, I would've rated this album about 2/5.
My advice to new Gorillaz fans or to existing fans who have yet to buy this album is don't expect too much from it. And certainly don't expect it to be anything like the first two.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The sound of the (globally warmed) summer, 23 Mar 2010
This review is from: Plastic Beach (Audio CD)
As one or two previous reviewers have commented this is nowhere near as instant as Demon Days but is actually a real grower. A lack of obvious singles is just one thing that sets the two albums apart; another is that Damon Albarn's vocals are nowhere near as ubiquitous - not on the first half of the CD anyway. After a random orchestral intro, Snoop Dogg cameos on 'Welcome to the Plastic Beach', which kicks in with a loping bassline and mellow feel - this sets the tone for the rest of the album, as does the presence of a guest artist, and with the exception of a couple of hip-hop style tracks this is essentially a laid-back summer selection. I know this seems odd because the CD is an overtly political statement about the way in which we've buggered-up the Earth through our generally lazy and slack consumer lifestyles, but perhaps this is why Damon always seems to feel so misunderstood - if you're going to write a protest album then make it more clear what you're protesting about; the appearance of 70s and 80s Soul powerhouse Bobby Womack gives 'Stylo' a bold vocal strength that is less overt on the remainder of the album, but as the tracks go by the underlying appeal of the songs becomes more and more obvious; essentially this gets better with every listen.

The initial orchestral theme is carried into track 3 - 'White Flag' - which then itself morphs into a fairly routine slice of hip-hop. However, the quality goes up a notch with the arrival of lead single 'Stylo', and from hereon in Albarn is clearly having a ball.
Other standout tracks are the whimsical 'On Melancholy Hill' and the haunting title track, but despite these highlights and the pleasant collection of songs that comprises the band's third album proper, it's initially difficult to see why Damon returned to his cartoon band after the more ambitious Journey To The West and the excellent The Good, The Bad and The Queen. What 'Plastic Beach' does do though is gradually creep up on the listener until you're completely immersed in the hypnotic world of one of our greatest ever pop architects.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not the same old Gorillaz, 6 Mar 2010
By 
D. M. Centifanti "aliceboy" (Durham, County Durham, UK) - See all my reviews
I've been hooked on this band as a total experience/experiment since the beginning, and have rarely been disappointed from any angle. This latest album is no different.
One has to approach Gorillaz with open expectations, as they change just a bit with each 'phase.' This version of their sound is infused with a muzak feel, further completing the beach concept by creating an open, relaxed atmosphere through about half the album. Personally, I find the weaker tracks to be those with the (admittedly imposing) guest performers. While Mark E. Smith, Lou Reed, Bobby Womack and other heavy (and not so heavy) hitters certainly add their own unique styles to their respective tracks, the most unified and interesting listening tends to be the Gorillaz-only tracks.
This Experience Edition was a natural choice for me, from the three possible options. A big element of my fandom for these guys is the Hewlett world surrounding them, and the pop-culture heavy gems hidden throughout, so I had to get the most immersive version. The game online (as of this writing) is not fully available, but already promises great fun and strangeness. The computer extras available online include 2 screensavers and a handful of lovely wallpapers. A further streaming performance is due to follow for the 'access card' included. The digital booklet is a little useless, since this version actually comes with the paper one, but it's nice to be able to download it or just peruse it online.
I haven't watched the documentary DVD yet, though I took a look at the beginning. Frankly, there should've been more on the disc, since the documentary is only half an hour long, but I'm not really complaining; it promises to be entertaining and revealing.
Overall, I'd say this is only worthwhile for we impatient Gorillaz fans, since I feel certain all this stuff will turn up on the eventual Phase Three DVD...just like they have in the past. Solid album, though, and it's nice to be able to dive right into the Gorillaz experience.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mr Albarn's Big Day Out, 8 Mar 2010
By 
The Wolf (uk) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Plastic Beach (Audio CD)
Love him or hate him you've still got to admire
Damon Albarn! 'Plastic Beach' is a huge treat!!

Much of its magic arises from the ambiguity of
its narrative content and the rich diversity of its
musical ideas. Gorillaz are (is?) a kind of sonic
sponge, unafraid to soak up, digest, assimilate and
regurgitate anything which crosses their (its?) path.

Despite the unlikely forces which have come together
to give life to this extraordinary project there is a
wonderful logic and coherence in the finished article.

Lou Reed's iconic drawl on the blissfully bouncy
'Some Kind Of Nature'; Mark E Smith's bolshy demonic
evangelist on the rip-roaring boogie 'Glitter Freeze';
Mos Def and Bobby Womack raising the temperature together
on the slick and soulful 'Stylo'; crikey, there's even
Mick Jones and Paul Simonon doing a turn on the title track!

There are some truly beautiful songs here too.
'Empire Ants', a collaboration with Swedish electronic
band Little Dragon and co-written with their singer
Yukimi Nagano, is a stunning arrangement, full of limpid
harmonies and gently flowing instrumental delights.
It is a sublime confection!

They pitch up together again on 'Binge', a lovely
loping piece which would not have sounded out of
place in a 1960's movie like Cliff Richard's
'Summer Holiday'. I'm not kidding! It's a hoot!!

So many riches rolling out one after the other,
I was completely swept away by its genre-defying lack
of conformity. Uplifting and anarchic in equal measure.

A Little Masterpiece.

Essential.
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