Gorillaz: Plastic Beach

Plastic Beach
(Parlophone/Virgin Records)

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What do you do when you create a virtual band as a side project and your first album outsells all of your main projects combined? You make more records of course! Such is the case with Gorillaz, the ultimate side-project, who return with their third full-length offering of original tunes, Plastic Beach.

While it seems that Gorillaz would be hard pressed to top their previous two releases, especially Demon Days, which brought them into millions of living rooms (courtesy of an iPod commercial, which was very snazzy at the time) they don’t seem pressured to perform. One listen of Plastic Beach and you’ll know their brand of hip-hop/space pop comes quite naturally to them. Only this time around be prepared for more pop than anything. Not that it’s a bad thing with this release. Whatever musical direction Gorillaz choose to take they always keep things interesting. (If I didn’t know any better I’d swear Air had something to do with this album.)

All the elements that have made Gorillaz a huge success are still present for mainstream listeners who are all about first impressions. For the more intricate music lover there are plenty of layers to discover and enjoy over repeat listening sessions. And like earlier releases, this album boasts an impressive list of musical guest from Snoop Dogg, Mos Def and De La Soul to Bobby Womak and Lou Reed. Plastic Beach is definitely worth checking out if you’ve previously enjoyed Gorillaz’s music on any level or if you simply appreciate fresh creativity in an often stagnant pop music scene. Gorillaz will free you from the monotony coming through your radio.

E. Grey

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