Plastic Beach Gorillaz (CD)
Gorillaz is the hottest, most popular virtual band, and the group that popularised the concept. Their latest album, Plastic Beach, is a great selection of tunes that also encourages critical thinking about social problems.
Most of the songs feature multi-layered instrumentation, which at times can seem a little noisy, but the melodies and rhythms are almost always clear and easy to follow. There is a range of musical genres here, too, making it appealing to listeners of all tastes. The only common themes seem to be passion for life and an aversion to government.
The best song on the album is Superfast Jellyfish, which opens with what sounds like a 1950s advert for a brunch restaurant. The funky beat is accompanied by lyrics about time-poor urban people who survive on fast food.
White Flag is performed entirely in rap, which is a shame because the backing melody is excellent. The lyrics promote peace, with the idea of no guns, no war. These ideas, of course, are more easily expressed in rap than song, so it was a good decision overall.
The album makes you think about your place in the world. It's inspirational, and has some very important messages behind the virtual musicians.