Lucky links

February 11, 2011

The Fall - Gorillaz's road album for those who don't know - Review Part 1

It's another lonely Friday night and I'm in my college dorm. Piles of assignments glare at me from the tops of my shelves. Since I'm in full procrastination mode, and I only have Gorillaz to keep me company, I'm going to present to you my track by track review of Gorillaz's "ipad album" The Fall (Released December 2010). I'll start off by introducing the album and then reviewing the first couple of tunes.

Messy desk, overdue coursework, college dorm
From Montreal to Vancouver via Seattle, Texas and Toronto, over 32 days on their North American Tour this autumn, Gorillaz recorded a musical diary. Recorded on tour, on an iPad, this low-key album (click here to listen to stream for free on the band's website) is the sound of Damon Albarn blowing trees and tweaking apps on his ipad as the American mountains rolls by his tour bus window. 

The result is a collection of 15 tracks, some with vocals, some without, some combined performances and some solo.



The music was recorded during spare time while on the road. "I did it because there's a lot of time that you just spend staring at walls essentially. And it was a fantastic way of doing it" says Damon Albarn. "I found working in the day, whether it's in the hotel or in the venue, it was a brilliant way of keeping myself well." Adding that the collection is "..like a diary, I literally wrote everything on the day in each place and there's a strange sort of sound of America and its musical traditions that comes through. It feels like a journey through America."

A physical release is planned for later in 2011. The full track listing is:

  1. Phoner To Arizona
  2. Revolving Doors
  3. HillBilly Man
  4. Detroit
  5. Shy-town
  6. Little Pink Plastic Bags
  7. The Joplin Spider
  8. The Parish of Space Dust
  9. The Snake In Dallas
  10. Amarillo
  11. The Speak It Mountains
  12. Aspen Forest
  13. Bobby In Phoenix
  14. California And The Slipping Of The Sun
  15. Seattle Yodel

Lets go through what you get with this album, shall we? I will review the first 3 tracks.

Oh, and I've included pictures of how I picture the song when I listen to it. Maybe it'll help you visualize and set the mood... 

1 - Phoner to Arizona


Slightly techno. Reminds me of Stylo, especially the 80s bass beat that runs all the way through the song. No vocals, quite repetitive. It seems like a perfect B-side to any Plastic Beach song, it's pretty much Damon's style. Fades away at the end. Nothing special or spectacular, just a plain old tune that could have been polished.

***

When I listen to Phoner to Arizona, I'm imagining a night out. It's late and everyone's leaving the party, bar, club. You're walking home alone in the cold dark street. Yellow lights from the lamp-post streams down and casts a shadow.

Feel the mood...

2 - Revolving Doors


One of my favourite tracks on The Fall. Damon sings in his drowning croon and repeats "Revolving Doors" over and over again. The song describes him sitting in an American diner and watching the "foggy days" outside his window. He reflects on his life and just sings. The tune is a repeating little tune, quite catchy. Reminds me of Damon's Opera (Monkey Journey to the West) and also the song Hong Kong on Gorillaz's b-sides album D-Sides. 

***

I'm just thinking revolving doors, revolving around and around. Spinning. It's a blur of people in and out. Beatles music on cue. 

3- Hillbilly Man


The song begins with Damon singing about free lanes with a gentle guitar sound in the background. He's talking about driving away and the song's really mellow. Then halfway around 1:25, beats come in. The whole song changes mood. I'm not sure whether it's on purpose or not, but Damon's voice seems to be getting raspier. Rasp is then followed by the chorus, which chants Hillibilly repeatedly. Don't really like the rasp. Didn't Damon quit smoking? 

***

I didn't know what "Hillibilly" was so I did a Google search. Can't stop laughing at the results:

Hillibilly - "Unsophisticated person" - Google Dictionary


That's the end of tonight's The Fall review. I'll continue on next time, please subscribe to the blog or bookmark it! You can always follow the RSS Feed on the sidebar on the right. 

What do you think of The Fall and the songs above? Disagree ? 



4 comments:

  1. Thanks! This is really interesting :) Revolving Doors is my favourite on the album. lmao at those hillbilly pics :P

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Aimée, I love Revolving Doors too. It's the track that actually sounds like a song. I'm sure with a little polishing, it'll be a great track. Thanks for reading!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Finally I found this webpage again! I actually loved Revolving Doors and Hillbilly Man. Both were just another haunting Damon song, one of his many musical pleasures. But I have to admit that Phoner To Arizona got me a bit disappointed, maybe it was just too...electronic? I do agree with you about 'polishing' the songs, but as it was done in an i-Pad I suppose it gives it the little homemade touch :P

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi La Platinito, it sure doesn't sound like an Ipad album though! And I'm still laughing at Damon's use of technology. He's the only one that doesn't even own a computer nor use facebook, and rides a bicycle around instead of driving!!

    Stay tuned for reviews of the other sogns coming soon

    ReplyDelete

ShareThis

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Lucky Links!