Gorillaz, the imaginary/animated group created by Damon Albarn of Blur fame and comic book artist Jamie Hewlett (Tank Girl co-creator), released their third album, "Plastic Beach" this month. My official opinion of this new effort is "eh." I don't like it much. The first single, "Stylo," featuring Mos Def and Bobby Womack, is bad as hell and so is the video. Bruce Willis stars in the video and he makes almost everything better, except maybe those two movies he did with Matthew Perry. And it's in 3D, which seems to be all the rage with the young kids. But the rest of the album is pretty boring. I tried to listen to it during a meeting with my co-writer and we fast forwarded through most of the tracks.
Now I know you might say we should give it another listen, maybe listen more carefully. And you're right, we might do that. But that wasn't a necessity with "Demon Days," Gorillaz' second effort. That record grabbed you right away and kept your interest. Same thing with the self-titled first record, especially the singles. Now Gorillaz is one of those bands that features tons of guest stars, but that's not the problem here. Mos Def is on a couple of tracks (so is Bobby Womack) but only one is good. Other guest stars include De La Soul, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, Lou Reed, Mick Jones and Snoop Dogg. De La Soul had a great track on "Demon Days" called "Feel Good, Inc." that I still listen to. Del tha Funky Homosapien has guested on some of their best tracks, and members of The Pharcyde have done some great work with Gorillaz. The difference this time might be in the production. Dan "The Automator" Nakamura did the first album and Danger Mouse did the second. "Plastic Beach" was produced primarily by Damon Albarn, and this proves the old adage that you shouldn't produce or edit yourself. Let us know what you think. If you really love this record, we'll give it another listen. Maybe.
Gorillaz - Stylo
Gorillaz - Stylo