Review: Gorillaz – The Fall

Band: Gorillaz
Album: The Fall
Genre: Alternative/Experimental

On Christmas Day 2010, the free album The Fall was released via Gorillaz’s website exclusively to those in their Sub-Division fan club. On the basis that it was produced entirely via iPad, the newest gadget everyone has heard about but are unsure whether they need one or not, The Fall is sure to pave the way for a new type of music production that will carry on well into the future.

It could have been expected that the album would not be up to the same standard as the band’s previously released work, but these fifteen tracks are definitely to be commended. While not being a huge fan of Gorillaz’s previous releases, I found this album to be a pleasant surprise.

While being heavily instrumental, there’s no sense of monotony, more like something is missing. The album is cohesive but each song’s differences can, at times, make it seem like there should be extra parts between each track. This being said, the production is smooth and the sound is definitely well engineered by the best technology. Nothing less is expected from Damon Albarn and he has definitely pushed some boundaries. It is, however, a far cry from the ‘usual’ Gorillaz sound, showing more experimentation and a more laid back approach with fewer songs that would be well suited to heavy radio play. This is not to the release’s detriment, however, as it shows Albarn is actually trying to create something new and to switch things up a bit which is refreshing.

‘Revolving Doors’, ‘Hillbilly Man’ and ‘Amarillo’ are definitely stand out tracks with this release and would fit quite comfortably on a midday radio playlist. The rest just seem to lack something to make them seem complete and have that extra edge like Gorillaz’s previously released work. They may not be to everyone’s taste but their sound has always had a distinctive bite, especially when put alongside popular music today.

As a completely experimental work, The Fall seems like a filler between Plastic Beach and whatever release is in Gorillaz’s near future- a window into Damon Albarn’s head if you will. In this respect, their next release should be intriguing, especially if the iPad production is built upon but as a download with the prospect of a physical release in the future, it just lacks that extra something to show just how on top of his game Albarn is.

Score: 6/10
Review written by: Naomi Carson

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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