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Sunday, 2 January 2011

A Country Parish

Gorillaz eh? What to make of them? I've not been entirely convinced from the start and last year's Plastic Beach only began to make sense to me when I saw the footage of them playing it live on TV. Paul Simonon and Mick Jones being present didn't hurt either, and the stella guestlist at Glastonbury made my jaw drop. Especially Mark E Smith's appearance- 'Where 's north from here?'

On Christmas Day they released The Fall through their website. Recorded while on tour I've been living with it for the last few days and think it may be the best album they've done. By they, obviously really I mean by Damon Albarn. It's got several lovely electronic funk tracks, loads of vintage synths and vocoders and a few 'what does this button do?' bits. What I think really makes it though is a) it sounds like an on-tour record, full of moments of ennui, of joy, of revelation, of the love of making music with few or no commercial considerations, and b) it's not weighed down by all those special guests. No Lou Reed. No De La Soul. No Shaun Ryder. No Snoop. No Bobby Womack. No one, other than Mick and Paul chipping in on unobtrusive guitar and bass. The absence of all the guests adds rather than detracts. This is a pretty magic album and this is one of it's key moments- a lovely country-ish ballad, starting with bursts of FM radio (a bit like the start of Dexys' Burn it Down, except C 'n' W songs this time), and then some lovely half euphoric, half melancholic piano and Damon's vocals about Texas, the road, space dust and whatever else. It fits the post-Christmas, post-New year lull very well and it's very, very good. I suspect it may get removed soon as well by the internet police so get it while it's hot. If you haven't found a copy of the full album to download, do so sharpish. I suggest Castles In Space might be a good place to start.

The Parish Of Space Dust.mp3

1 comment:

Simon said...

It's a good un alright. I've been listening to nothing else but Gorillaz all weekend.