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GORILLAZ Plastic Beach Parlophone/EMI (2010)


Five years since their last album and hot on the heels of last year's successful Blur reunion tour, Damon Albarn and his Gorillaz cohorts have resurrected the biggest animated band of all time.

New album 'Plastic Beach' features a host of guest appearances including Lou Reed, Bobby Womack, Snoop Dogg , The Fall's Mark E Smith and Mick Jones and Paul Simenon of The Clash, amongst others. There is also the addition of the The Lebanese Orchestra for Oriental Arabic Music, which adds interesting depth and layers to tracks such as 'White Flag'.

The album itself does feel like it has been padded out with filler tracks- the 16 on offer could have been cut down to, say, 12 and would have then had a more consistent feel to it. However, mixing hip hop, electronic, soul and pop, 'Plastic Beach' will appeal to fans of the band.

Highlights on the album include 'Rhinestone Eyes', 'Stylo' (featuring Bobby Womack), 'Some Kind of Nature' (featuring Lou Reed), the sparse electronic sounds of 'Pirate Jet' , 'On Melancholy Hill'. Then we have the most Blur-like tracks on the album, title track 'Plastic Beach' (featuring Mick Jones and Paul Simenon) and 'To Binge'.

'Plastic Beach' is not a bad album, and will appeal to the i-pod generation - fans of Blur, however, may still long for the much denied reunion album.


Review by Nikk Gunns

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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