I’ve know been listening to Plastic Beach, the new Gorillaz album, for nearly 36 hours now pretty much non-stop as my Last.fm will attest, so I thought I’d give some thoughts on what I thought so far.
The album starts out with a beautiful orchestration piece. If there’s one thing Damon Albarn can do it’s right amazing classical sounding music. I kind of wish he’d do an entire album or soundtrack with just that kind of stuff. We cut to the second song and the first words you hear uttered are from Mr. Snoop Dogg himself, which when I hear it makes me laugh every time. He kind of raps about nature and peace and stuff though, which I think are definitely Damon inspired, but it sounds great. From there we is the song White Flag, which features Kano and Bashy, but more importantly in my mind, is The Lebanese National Orchestra fro Oriental Arabic Music. It’s absolutely brilliant that Mr. Albarn can tie together these extremely different kinds of music into one song. It’s exactly that talent that makes me think he’s one of the most brilliant musicians alive right now.
Then there’s Rhinestone Eyes, one of the few tracks that’s just Damon singing on his own, which in my mind are some of the best on the album. There’s also On Melancholy Hill, Broken and Pirate Jet as well. I think On Melancholy HIll would be the other really stand out track which features just him.
The other artists that I really enjoyed are Little Dragon and Mos Def. Little Dragon has such an amazing voice, and Empire Ants and To Binge are two of my favorite tracks on the album. I kind of hope she gets written in as a character in the Gorillaz mythos. And of course Mos Def is just an amazing guy, and both Stylo and Sweepstakes are great tracks, with the latter featuring a huge brass ensemble that beats anything that Mark Ronson has done.
I’d say that overall, however amazing I think this album is, it isn’t quite as good as Demon Days. There’s not dance track like D.A.R.E. and honestly the ending seemed brief and kind of lacking. The end of Demon Days on the other hand could only be described as epic, which of course is what I compare this to. That said, this album for me is like an 8 out of 10, just an absolute gem. I can’t wait to buy this album to hear it in it’s full glory and to get some rad new Jamie Hewlett art.
I’m really surprised that I haven’t seen Vampire Weekend’s new video for their song Giving Up the Gun in more places, so I thought I should definitely share it. This is one of the better songs off of the album, so I’m glad they chose this one to start out with, and well, the video is pretty hysterical.
The whole thing is based around a tennis tournament where our protagonist, a cute redhead girl named Jenny, has to play against a series of random people. To start off, the tournament’s referee is RZA, which is amazing. Every tournament should be ref’ed by a Wu Tang member, though we all know the best commentary would have been Ol’ Dirty, rest in peace. Then you have her opponents, the first being Joe Jonas of the Jonas Bros. as well as Jake Gyllenhaal as an alcoholic. But it doesn’t end there, cuz’ there’s still a random appearance by Lil Jon as Jenny’s tennis coach.
I think this is too funny, and I’m glad the band doesn’t take themselves very seriously. I’ve read in some places that this is selling out and blah blah blah… it’s a music video, it’s a fun, random idea, so just enjoy it. Plus there’s the entire look of the video with it’s black, white and red color palette. That and with the bits of slow motion I think this is a great video that reminds me of the good ol’ days of MTV.
It’s Thursday so I’m gonna be throwing a ton of video content your way for the majority of the day, but we’re gonna start off with a music video/fashion showcase. The music is by a Swedish artist named Johansson while the clothing was created by Heidi Nilausen and combined they’ve got something really great going on.
The video was directed by Philippe Tempelman and Kian Zubicky and it’s beautifully shot
by photographer Axel Lindahl, who definitely gives it it’s overall mood. To me the video looks like something Karin Andersson of The Knife would do if she made a clothing line. IT’s mysterious and moody and to be honest totally fun. I think not only is the video beautiful but the song is pretty rad as well, I hope I get to hear more from this Johansson fella’.
You know how you get a song stuck in your head and then suddenly you have to hear it right away? Yeah that’s why I’m posting this song. I was walking to the bus earlier tonight and I was suddenly humming a tune that I couldn’t quite place. Finally I figured out it was Neighbourhood by The Go Find. The Go Find is headed up by Dieter Sermeus, a Belgian musician with an amazing voice and a lot of talent.
There’s just something about this song that makes me really happy, and especially, something really great about his voice. When he sings the part, “We were hanging out, in the neighbourhood…” it just chills me out. It’s kind of got this electronic kind of element to it, plus you have the synths behind his voice just adding to the effect, it’s totally perfect.
If you enjoy this song be sure to check out Everybody Knows It’s Gonna Happen Only Not Tonight on Morr Music where the song was taken from. It’s a great and extremely overlooked album from last year.
Four years ago hip hop suffered a major blow when one of the most talented and imaginative guys, J Dilla, passed away at the age of 32. I’m far from an expert on Dilla and his career, but I bought Donuts when it came out in 2006 and loved it from the first time I heard it. It’s basically a giant mixtape of random loops and beats taken from all over and who knows where.
Unfortunately there are still a lot of people out there who don’t know J Dilla or his music, so Stussy has teamed up with his record label Stones Throw and the Dilla Estate to release a three part documentary outlining his short but incredibly influential life. So far only part one and two have been released but I’ve already learned a lot of things that I never knew. It’s so great to hear guys like Peanut Butter Wolf and DJ Rhettmatic from Beat Junkies retelling Dilla’s rise from his days in Detroit to his blossoming as a producer in Los Angeles.
I’m really looking forward to part three, and I’ll be sure to update this post (and put a reminder on the blog) when it’s released. Until then, enjoy these two 8 minute parts and learn about a talented man who left an amazing impact.