I’ll start by saying that I respek the heck out of Damon Albarn. Dude’s worked with tons of artists I love – Elastica, The Rentals, and half of The Clash among them. Oh yeah, and he was in Blur. They were awesome. Have you heard “Coffee and TV?” Shit rules. But while I dig Albarn in general, he strikes me as someone that you need to say “no” to every once in a while. As evidence, consider
At 57 minutes,
But then, that could be said of most of the rappers. Gorillaz was partially conceived as an outlet for Albarn’s interest in hip-hop, but the tunes here don’t lend themselves much to partying. Mos Def gets a nice flow late in the disc on “Sweepstakes,” but otherwise the rappers come off underwhelming.
Albarn himself is rarely the vocal focus here, although he gets in a few sleepy turns like on “Rhinestone Eyes.” Oddly enough, the most successful guest star is Lou Reed. Musically, “Some Kind of Nature” is the same as every other song on Plastic Beach: low key with little electronic flourishes. But somehow Reed’s weathered voice provides a welcome contrast to the song’s bleeps, blips, and bloops.