The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

‘Plastic Beach’ by the Gorillaz jarring with familiar undertones

The Gorillaz, brain child of British musician and songwriter Damon Albarn, has always been a bit of an oddity within the music world. 

While the “band” is actually a solo project by Albarn, it is also a series of collaborations between Albarn and other popular musicians. This combination of collaborations and solo work defined the two previous Gorillaz albums, as well as the Gorillaz newest release, “Plastic Beach.”

With an album that boasts such a varied cast of contributors, including hip-hop legends like, Snoop Dogg and Mos Def, as well as soul legends like Bobby Womack, it’s not surprising its sound runs the gamut from up-beat pop tunes to more somber tracks. 

Ultimately, it is this combination of musical styles that makes “Plastic Beach” work, but with mixed results.

The album itself feels almost like a roller coaster ride, with emotional ups and downs throughout. While more upbeat songs like “Superfast Jellyfish” and “Some Kind of Nature” bring a bit of island funk with the introduction of steel pan drums and reggae-esque bass lines, these tracks are contrasted with slower paced, somber songs like “Broken” and “Empire Ants.” 

While the dichotomy may be jarring at first, there is an underlying, familiar tone that is, at times, both relaxing and moody, much like a day on the sun-filled beach that ends with a relaxing sunset.

There are only a few duds among the 16 tracks. One is “Sweepstakes.” The beat seems sporadic, and the delivery by Mos Def, comes off as a bit bland. It gets stale after the first verse. 

Another is “Welcome to the World of the Plastic Beach.” While the delivery by Snoop Dogg is as smooth as butter, the song is slow to progress and relies heavily on Snoop’s performance to carry it.
Ultimately you could look at these low points like a free Mustang with plastic hubcaps. You might be brought down by the ugly hubcaps, but the rest of the car is so sleek and well tuned you are willing to overlook the imperfections. 

The same can be said for “Plastic Beach.” The rest of the album is so well produced that you’ll barely remember the couple of bad tracks that managed to sneak their way into the album.


Contact Troy Patton at [email protected]

Leave a Comment
About the Contributor
Troy Patton
Troy Patton, Arts & Features Editor
Arts and features editor, spring 2013.

Comments (0)

By commenting, you give The Inquirer permission to quote, reprint or edit your words. Comments should be brief, have a positive or constructive tone, and stay on topic. If the commenter wants to bring something to The Inquirer’s attention, it should be relevant to the DVC community. Posts can politely disagree with The Inquirer or other commenters. Comments should not use abusive, threatening, offensive or vulgar language. They should not be personal attacks or celebrations of other people’s tragedies. They should not overtly or covertly contain commercial advertising. And they should not disrupt the forum. Editors may warn commenters or delete comments that violate this policy. Repeated violations may lead to a commenter being blocked. Public comments should not be anonymous or come from obviously fictitious accounts. To privately or anonymously bring something to the editors’ attention, contact them.
All The Inquirer Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Activate Search
‘Plastic Beach’ by the Gorillaz jarring with familiar undertones