Recorded on the road using an iPad and not much else, Gorillaz’ album “The Fall” is a step in a new direction for a band formerly known for grandiose productions. The Fall is presented as a “sonic journal” that follows the band’s Return to Plastic Beach tour through North America.
All the tracks were more or less recorded between gigs, and the location and date for each track is given on their website.
Despite this being an excellent creative exercise for the band, listeners hoping for an authentic and full-sounding Gorillaz album may be disappointed. Many of the tracks are made using stale preset sounds that pale in comparison to the quality of their past productions.
I suppose the marketing for this release would have been more impressive if the album sounded less like it was made on an iPad. I know it’s not a fair judgement since it was in fact done on an iPad, but for a band that brought us the Grammy-award winning album Demon Days this latest release doesn’t present itself as a musical step forward.
When taken in context of being a weird off-shoot project for Gorillaz, The Fall is not bad overall. Although the tracks were made in very short periods of time compared to their past releases, there are definitely some stand-out numbers.
Revolving Doors features Damon Albarn’s great laid-back vocal harmonies that have played an important part of Gorillaz’ signature sound throughout the years, and Little Pink Plastic Bags gives the impression of a sleep-deprived overnight bus ride between cities.
The Fall was offered as a free download for Gorillaz fan-site members, and unfortunately it seems more appropriate as a free album. Die-hard fans may appreciate the inside-look into life on the road, but lesser fans of Gorillaz will likely have trouble relating to this release.
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