While on tour for 2010's Plastic Beach
, Gorillaz recorded an album almost exclusively using sounds and production applications on their iPads. Probably a symptom of the times, handheld recording studios, yadda yadda yadda...
You'd expect it to sound either cheap or boring, relegated to a small number of production gimmicks and recycled instruments. But it actually sounds great. Plus, fans who caught them on tour (like me!) can see which songs they were recording while in their city. Some are more obvious than others, like "Shy-Town" recorded in Chicago or "Detroit" recorded in Detroit. "Hillbilly man," for instance, was recorded with Mick Jones (yes, from The Clash) the night I saw them in New Jersey. Personally, I think "Shy-Town" and "Little Pink Plastic Bags" are the unquestionable highlights of the record, so maybe that means that Chicago's a good town in which to write songs on your iPad. Either way, the album is a series of neat little projects that fails to reach the revelatory sensations on Plastic Beach
, but succeeds as an experiment in short-term inspiration.
The album, called The Fall
is available for streaming on the Gorillaz website here