Under Review


Plastic Beach

Parlophone Records

Review By Nathaniel Bryce

Even if you’re not the biggest fan of Gorillaz, Plastic Beach is worth a listen if for no other reason than its sheer brilliance of scope. Damon Albarn, who makes up one half of Gorillaz, cannot be blamed for offering a polymer-based recycled product, pun obviously intended. Plastic Beach is the third album by the world’s most successful virtual band, and much like the fleshy cartoon characters that make up this group, it is vibrant, colourful and a bit daft. With celebrity guest spots up the hooper and a decidedly lighter poppier feel to this album, Plastic Beach is a brash step forward, not so much in a new direction, but more in the same direction with new shoes on. Still present is the cartoony off the wall feel along with some great guest spots such as Lou Reed, Mick Jones, Mos Def, Snoop Dogg and other heavies. One of the best tracks here is “Stylo” featuring Mos Def and the legendary Bobby Womack. It’s a simple but driving little number that hangs loosely off a synth backing that smells so strongly of Miami Vice issue sport coats and slip on loafers that it surpasses cool three times before becoming even cooler. If you dig Gorillaz and fancy a bit of hip hop, funk, dubstep and driving ’80s synth jams, Plastic Beach will be the butter to your bread. Like a well put together DJ set or mix tape, it works really well and before you know it you’re basking under its brilliant plastic sun-like warmth.