One week before “Plastic Beach,” the Gorillaz’ first new album in five years, comes out March 9, you can hear it here.
Don’t be fooled and think your computer is playing tricks on you. “Plastic Beach” opens with a full-on classical interlude, simply named “Orchestral Intro,” that’s more Chopin than Albarn.
But then we hear Snoop Dogg beckoning on “Welcome to the World of the Plastic Beach.” Then, however, we go back to classical music. This time it sounds like Tchaikovsky before morphing into the next song. And so it goes. It isn’t until the third vocal track, “Rhinestone Eyes,” that head Gorilla Damon Albarn’s instantly recognizable, blasé delivery appears as he sings “Your love’s like rhinestones falling from the sky.” That doesn’t seem like a compliment to me.
The animated group’s previous two albums, the 2001 self-titled set and 2005’s “Demon Days,” combined lush sounds with hip hop and electronic and “Beach” expands on that template by bringing in the Lebanese National Orchestra for Oriental-Arabic Music to provide many of the symphonic touches. Other guests, in addition to Snoop, include Bobby Womack, Lou Reed, Mos Def, and Gruff Rhys from Super Furry Animals. The group, as it were, will headline Coachella April 18. We'll also post the video for "Stylo" when it becomes available on March 2.
Dive into the beach and let the music wash over you.