[My Gang] Gorillaz - Stylo : Reco of the Week 03 Mar 2010


2 Mar 2010, 23:00

Track: Stylo Featuring Mos Def and Bobby Womack
Artist: Gorillaz
Album: Plastic Beach (8 Mar 10)
Tags: , ,
Video: Click the pic...

YouTube, official video

The biggest music news of the week, apart from the threat of closure to BBC 6 Music (see also BBC-o-gram and also the full review), is the new album from Gorillaz, due out next week and streaming in full now at NPR.

There isn't much I can add to the excitement. Everyone knows who they are and can't have failed to have missed the eager anticipation online and in print.

Plastic Beach is my joint number one album of 2010, along with Massive Attack's Heligoland. I was pleased to see The Sunday Times write positively about them:

By Mark Edwards, 28 Feb 2010

Next week, the new Gorillaz album, Plastic Beach, arrives. Alongside Damon Albarn and his usual cartoon crew, we will be treated to an extraordinary and eclectic line-up of guest stars. Plastic Beach features appearances by Lou Reed, Bobby Womack, Mark E Smith, Gruff Rhys, Snoop Dogg, Mos Def, De La Soul, Kano, Bashy, even a reunion of The Clash’s Mick Jones and Paul Simonon — rock legends, punk legends, soul legends, rap legends and grime luminaries, all brought together under the banner of pop’s most proudly manufactured band.

Plastic Beach arrives just a few weeks after the similarly guest-starry Heligoland, the first album for seven years from Massive Attack. Heligoland includes contributions from long-time sparring partners Horace Andy and Martina Topley-Bird, alongside Hope Sandoval, Elbow’s Guy Garvey, TV on the Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe and Gorillaz’s (or, if you prefer, Blur’s) Damon Albarn.

[...] Therein lies the secret of the success of both Plastic Beach and Heligoland. Both Damon Albarn and Massive Attack clearly have the talent, patience, open-mindedness and musical adventurousness to turn what might be simple guest appearances into true collaborations. When the guest stars become real musical partners, that’s when the album as a whole becomes more than the sum of its guest-starry parts.

I couldn't reco the video for my favourite track from Heligoland, Paradise Circus, for its adult content. So to make up for it, I have chosen Stylo from Plastic Beach, which to my mind, is the same difference, i.e. both bands are as good as each other, though they sit at opposite ends of the same table.

The video is wonderful. If you haven't seen it yet, go and do it now before reading any further. I'll help you - I'll post a nice big picture. Here are the donuts that appear in the video. mmMMmm. Go scroll up, right click on the pic, open the video in another tab, max the screen, and look out for... !!

Stop peeking. Go scroll up. Source: as before

For such an insanely sunny track, the underlying themes in the music and the video are morbidly dark. Bruce Willis looks the epitome of cool driving his 68 El Camino, throwing his trademark looks to camera.

Source: as before

The video is as funny as it is sunny as it is dark. The spectre of Death, wearing a mask borrowed from The Knife siblings, who takes the fat cop reaching out for the box of donuts, is a wacky touch. As if cartoon characters in a beat up car with real cops chasing after them isn't wacky enough already.

Source: as before

The music is like Massive Attack at a disco. Damon Albarn's hypnotic, seductive vocals set a tone that doesn't continue when he's blown out of the water when Bobby Womack appears. Mos Def adds to the aural flavour without imposing on it, providing richness and depth.

Bruce Willis chases our kids over a cliff and into the sea, where their vehicle morphs into some sort of aquatic fish-like machine, heading for... where?... must be Plastic Beach.

Source: as before

You can hear an interview with Murdoc on BBC 6 Music in this podcast, which aired today.

Stylo, along with Empire Ants, is as upbeat as the album gets. The album begins with an orchestral intro, moves on to Snoop Dogg channelling Gil Scott-Heron - The Revolution Will Not Be Televised - before taking in an unexpected arabic mixed with grime theme. As innovative as the first half is, the second half quietens things down to a more steady and sedate pace, giving music that doesn't blow your mind on first listen then bore you, but the kind that you find yourself going back to, that will eventually contribute to the soundtrack of your life. But I would say that.

Babs My Gang

Reco of the Week archives

Disclaimer: Mines

Source: Amazon

Admin: Stats as of today:

Last.fm listeners of this track - 6,428
No. of plays scrobbled in Last.fm - 30,211
Position in Last 7 Days: 31 / 2,120
Position in Last 6 Months: 93 / 2,079

Date Added: March 01, 2010
Views: 475,271, Ratings: 7,889, Comments: 6,162, Favourited: 14,072 times

Stats after 7 days:

Last.fm listeners of this track - 17,288
No. of plays scrobbled in Last.fm - 69,034
Position in Last 7 Days: 8 / 11,603
Position in Last 6 Months: 93 / 2,079

Views: 1,733,420, Ratings: 14,732, Comments: 11,536, Favourited: 26,439 times

419 Unique Visitors
477 Page Views

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  • pecusita

    The video for this song is really cool. Haven't heard the album but On Melancholy Hill and Glitter Freeze are as good as they are incredibly different. The only thing is that 16 songs looks a bit long and I've read some snippets criticizing that. It's normal for bands to try and over compensate after a long wait, I guess.

    7 Mar 2010, 20:46
  • Babs_05

    Never mind the catty critics, have a listen and make up your own mind. :)

    7 Mar 2010, 20:48
  • Soundhog

    It's a cool video - love the beat up Camaro : )

    14 Mar 2010, 12:00
  • Babs_05

    Glad you liked it. : ) Incidentally, talking of critics, the Sunday Times gave the album 5/5. Ok, so let's listen to them and ignore the others...

    14 Mar 2010, 16:38
  • pecusita

    Hahaha! I got the album last week and I really, really like it. The songs with Little Dragon are very good, especially Empire Ants. 16 songs just make it harder to sit through it on one single seating, but it's a very strong album. :)

    20 Mar 2010, 16:47
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