lookin’ like it’s time to finish out Gorillaz’s Phase 3: Escape to Plastic Beach with 2011’s album, The Fall:


Phoner to Arizona is a truly bewildering track. its so strange, and weird, and the vocals are essentially unrecognizeable, but somehow this track has gotten crammed deep in my brain. i have caught myself singing it while at work. what the actual fuck. not on the faves list today but ask me again in a year about it. Revolving Doors takes the same beat inspiration (once the beat starts proper) as Phoner but does more lyrically, which works really well. HillBilly Man starts okay but doesn’t go anywhere i like. there’s a pretty constant back and forth on this track between me finding it neat and kinda hating it. Arizona, Massachusetts, now it’s Detroit. bright, fun beats here, even if it ends up a little undeveloped and insubstantial. Shy-Town has those looping chirping synths i normally associate with sci-fi stuff, haha. neat track, i like how they’re brought to the front and then the back of the mix in focus over the course of the track. Little Pink Plastic Bags is a neat transition from Shy-Town, but i’m not a huge fan of the track. not a big fan of The Joplin Spider either. The Parish of Space Dust is a neat track – i like all the sound bites throughout, the choral voices are a nice contrast to the radio noises, and its a cool nod to the title. The Snake In Dallas is an interesting listen for sure. Amarillo is a nice little bright spot buried this deep in the record. The Speak It Mountains feels a lot like a sort of intermission track. Aspen Forest is v soothing. Bobby In Pheonix has the return of Bobby Womack, who does a wonderful job on this track, paired with that acoustic guitar and the softest electric sounds behind them. California and the Slipping of the Sun has some neat stuff, and Seattle Yodel is a strange closer to a strange experience.

faves – Revolving Doors, Bobby In Pheonix

dislikes –

this album feels extremely liminal – all the place names and the soft, plodding pace of the beats across the album really follow up on what Phoner is selling in its music video – this feels like a tour record. written and recorded on tour, inspired by the tour, about the tour. a lot of it feels like being focused on a book or phone on a train ride and looking up to see a stop you weren’t expecting to see already. overall an interesting concept, and successful in its approach, but musically just wasn’t really my style at all.

The Fall – 5/10

next time, we skip Gorillaz’s long haitus and dive into Phase 4: We Are Still Humanz with, well, Humanz

the first: Gorillaz | previous: Plastic Beach | next: Humanz

all my reviews for Gorillaz