Something for everybody on the Plastic Beach
I have to say that at first listen Plastic Beach went in too many different directions for me. However, by the end I more than appreciated the analogy between the album’s title and its musical landscape. Now, I spend a little time each day soaking up the sounds of this album. Gorillaz had already established itself as an institution where pretty much anything goes, but with Plastic Beach the “band” blends about as many musical styles as it does songs on the album (16 tracks with a running time of just over 56 minutes). Not to say that each track sticks to any kind of formula whatsoever, it absolutely does not in the most refreshing ways. Damon Albarn, the Gorillaz’ driving force, is able to convince the listener to blindly accept the transition within and between each song. You almost wonder if this capacity for persuasion was necessary to convince the eclectic group of artists that make the Plastic Beach what it is. Bobby Womack, Mos Def, Mick Jones and Paul Simonon of The Clash, Lou Reed, Snoop Dogg, De La Soul, Sinfonia Viva, Mark e Smith, and the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble all join the regular cast of mysterious cartoon Gorillaz to create an album that will spend a lot of time on my playlist. Take a walk along the Plastic Beach and you will pick something out of the sand that’s worth your while.