Monday, March 15, 2010

Plastic Beach: It’s like sex on a beach; Wanna try for a baby?

So I bought Plastic Beach last Friday. And I listened to it. And listened to it. And listened to it. I think you can see what I’m getting at. I very much enjoy listening to this album. If you want to experience the album for yourself first before you read this, go for it. This post will still be here after you go and get yourself a copy so we can compare thoughts. I’ll be waiting.

Oh, you’re still here. Well, here’s what I thought of the album:

“Orchestral Intro”/“Welcome to the World of the Plastic Beach” do just what the names say. Welcoming you to this newest venture into the world of Gorillaz is Sinfonia ViVA giving a classical introduction to the album for a minute before leading into a warm “Welcome” from Snoop Dogg on the second track, backed by what easily sounds like a classic hip hop beat and perfectly complements the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble.

“White Flag” features Bashy, Kano and The National Orchestra for Arabic Music and is the first of two tracks that remind me of Jet Set Radio, the videogame series about inline skating, graffiti, and hip hop culture. And that’s a damn good thing.

“Rhinestone Eyes” is the first track that is completely Gorillaz with an always optimistic 2D singing about very optimistic matters such as being a scary gargoyle on a tower that was made from plastic power, continuing the album’s theme of things of a plastic nature. It reminds me of “Tomorrow Comes Today” from Gorillaz, one of my favorite tracks from that album.

“Stylo” features a rapping Mos Def, a singing of Bobby Womack, and 2D (possibly being chased by Bruce Willis). It has a feeling of uncertainty, which the music video adds to, and “juice.” Everyone loves “juice.” Say it: “juice.”

“Superfast Jellyfish” features Gruff Rhys and the always welcome return of De La Soul. This song is a combination of what I can describe of slow hip hop with a catchy almost-pop chorus. This is one of the tracks that stand out most to be because it’s so upbeat and fun.

“Empire Ants” continues almost where “Superfast Jellyfish” left off, but transitioned into more into the original songs created by Nujabes for Samurai Champloo with the help of Little Dragons, an electronic music band from Sweden. 2D begins on vocals at the beginning of the song, melancholy as always, but the song picks up just a tab bit when Yukimi Nagano takes over on vocals.

“Glitter Freeze” featuring Mark E. Smith feels more like a Felix da Housecat track, and I don’t mean that in a bad way at all. It definitely grew on me. I can totally imagine walking into a club and hearing this song playing, instantly becoming the anthem of the night while you go club hopping with friends.

Lou Reed lends his very distinct vocals to “Some Kind of Nature” and manages to make the song more fun to listen to, much in the same way that Dennis Hopper did on Demon Days with “Fire Coming Out of the Monkey’s Head.”

“On Melancholy Hill” would be a very depressing song to listen to if it weren’t for the overly cheery pop beat. I know I would be horribly wrong to even attempt to make it sounds like a generic pop song because it definitely is not, and is far from it. There might not even be proper words to describe a song like this one.

“Broken” is very traditional Gorillaz in a sense: Slower beat, low vocals, and backing vocals here and there. We know how classic Gorillaz sound, and that’s always welcome by me.

If there is ever a new Jet Set Radio game, it would be a crime if it didn’t include “Sweepstakes,” which once again features Mos Def and the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, pushing the Mos Def and HBE count on this album to 2. As a huge fan of the Jet Set Radio Future, having played it for years and years, this track gave me fond memories of the times I’d play a game that had an amazing soundtrack.

The song “Plastic Beach” features Mick Jones and Paul Simonon of The Clash. To put it simply, if you were a fan of “19-2000” and “Clint Eastwood” from the album Gorillaz, you’ll easy become a fan of this one.

Have you ever played Conker’s Bad Fur Day? If you haven’t, the game opens with the game’s leading character (Conker) with a killer hangover. I can totally imagine that part of the game when listening to “To Binge.” This song again features Little Dragon, and again makes me want to play Conker’s Bad Fur Day.

I think it’s because I am a fan of “Don’t Get Lost in Heaven”/”Demon Days” from Demon Days is why I enjoy listening to “Cloud of Unknowing.” Marking the second appearances of Bobby Womack and Sinfonia ViVA on this album, they create a sound that feels soulful. It’s bliss. No “juice,” though.

“Pirate Jet” serves as the outro to the track. It may sound like an outro, but is this only the end until next time? Where will Gorillaz end up next?

Overall, I love Plastic Beach because it’s not just another Gorillaz album; it also maintains the Gorillaz style while taking a stroll down a new avenue in terms of sound. I definitely recommend it. I recommend that you play it during breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

1 comment:

  1. Mmm, Gorillaz. I totally Feel Good listening to this new album. Pun totally intended. :)