Now this is truly a testament to how disgustingly and hopelessly devoted and dependent on technology we have become. This entire album was recorded on singer Damon Albarn’s iPad. Yes, that’s right, albums now can be created on iPads. Start placing bets on when people stop making or using real instruments.
While proof of Apple’s ingenuity, The Fall is a huge disappointment from the Gorillaz. Which is a shame, seeing as their last three albums were groundbreaking. The problem with The Fall is just how mechanical and technology fueled it actually is. Gone are the dirty hip-hop beats Russell puts down in Clint Eastwood. Gone are the group vocals from Murdoc and Noodle in Feel Good Inc. In fact, it was hard to see the influence of four separate parts anywhere. Albarn’s persona, 2-D, comprises the only vocals, other than the radio sound bites on The Parish of Space Dust, which, by the way, was awful. Too much of that Arcade Fire sense of hopefulness. The album is good dubstep/techno, not good Gorillaz.
I hate to be that fan who complains about how the new sound doesn’t work, but at this point, the Gorillaz aren’t even the Gorillaz; they’ve turned into the Cheeky Chimps. Even songs that start out really well, like Hillbilly Man, with a sense of nature that doesn’t usually, if ever, come from something so technological, end up a cluttered mess, full of smoky, possessed and horrid-sounding synth. Songs such as Detroit, like all the songs here with their devotion to some point on the tour, make the place sound like a Yugoslavian dance club. The absolute worst is The Joplin Spider. Apparently some reference to a poisonous spider encountered on tour, the song itself was poison. Too much like Chrispy, without the effective Inception skull-shaking. Granted, my ribs vibrated a good three minutes after the song was done, but that isn’t exactly what makes music good, now is it?
Normally, I would never, EVER, let someone else bad-mouth the English enigma band, but this album is just a wreck. The one slightly saving grace is Bobby in Phoenix. This is the most real song on the album, and a much-welcomed break from the futuristic tomfoolery that plagues it. Earthy guitar and Bobby Womack’s soul-saving voice make a nice break from the Chinese water torture that is The Fall. Truly a fall, from grace.
GEORGE KIELTY, Gibbs High