Plastic Beach

~ Release group by Gorillaz


Release Format Tracks Date Country Label Catalog# Barcode
Plastic Beach (Experience edition) CD + DVD-Video 17 + 1 Parlophone TOCP-66950 4988006878105
Plastic Beach CD 17 Parlophone TOCP-66951 4988006878112
Plastic Beach CD 16 Parlophone 5099962686723 5099962686723
Plastic Beach CD 16 Parlophone 6261672 5099962616720
Plastic Beach CD 16 Parlophone 5099962616621 5099962616621
Plastic Beach (Experience edition) CD + DVD-Video 16 + 1 Parlophone 5099962616720 5099962616720
Plastic Beach Digital Media 18 Parlophone
Plastic Beach CD 16 Parlophone 5099962754729 5099962754729
Plastic Beach (Experience edition) CD + DVD-Video 16 + 1 Parlophone 5099962754828 5099962754828
Plastic Beach CD 16 Virgin (worldwide imprint of Virgin Records Ltd. and all its subsidiaries) 509996 27547 2 9 5099962754729
Plastic Beach 2×12" Vinyl 8 + 8 Parlophone 626 1661 5099962616614
Plastic Beach CD 16 Gala Records (Russian label, for releases issued by S.B.A./GALA Records, Inc.), Parlophone 50999 626166 0 7 5099962616607
Plastic Beach CD 16 Warner Bros. Records (“WB” logo, with or without “records” beneath or on banner across) 791334-PRL2 603497913343
Plastic Beach Digital Media 16 Parlophone


associated singles/EPs: Rhinestone Eyes
White Flag
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Discogs: [info]
Wikidata: Q1129075 [info]
Wikipedia: en: Plastic Beach [info]
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CritiqueBrainz Reviews

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The Plastic Beach back story - colourful fluff about cyborg bassists, kidnapped singers and islands made of trash - might make you think the whole cartoon band conceit is wearing a bit thin. Listen, though, and it makes more sense than ever.

Only behind such a distracting smokescreen could Damon Albarn get away with conducting a project as sprawling, daring, innovative, surprising, muddled and magnificent as Plastic Beach: not just one of the best records of 2010, but a release to stand alongside the greatest Albarn's ever been involved with and a new benchmark for collaborative music as a whole.

Not that you'd think that from the first couple of tracks. After a meandering, seagull-strewn string intro, Snoop Dogg phones in his contribution to lounge rap number Welcome to the World of the Plastic Beach. You'd be forgiven for assuming Gorillaz had found their place as Damon's token hip hop side project. Then, the first handbrake turn in what will be a head-spinning ride. White Flag opens as the world's only Shinto Bollywood track before Kano and Bashy trade anti-war, anti-crime and anti-religion rhymes over trashy Casio beats. It's the first of a plethora of jaw-dropping surprises on what might possibly be the least predictable album ever made.

From here Plastic Beach simply flies. Rhinestone Eyes (brilliant) is all 80s synths and M.I.A. skipping chants, first single Stylo (also brilliant) manages to merge Bobby Womack's soulful croon and Mos Def's raps into something resembling a Gary Numan or Grace Jones track from 1983, and Superfast Jellyfish (particularly brilliant) finds Super Furry Animals' Gruff Rhys delivering an OutKast-meets-The Rentals elastic pop bouncer in keeping with his colourful cartoon surroundings, right down to the trumpets that sound like a sad clown at the end.

The celebrity guests all step up to the raised bar. Lou Reed's fragile turn on Some Kind of Nature is the kind of New York piano charmer he does best, and Mark E. Smith is a spectral, menacing presence on Glitter Freeze. But it's when Albarn takes centre stage that Plastic Beach really thrills: Empire Ants is a trickling ballad to rank alongside Blur's best, and On Melancholy Hill is a hazy pop gem with the sugary 80s sparkle of Strawberry Switchblade or early Lightning Seeds.

The scope and depth of Plastic Beach is staggering. For anyone frustrated that Blur never quite managed their White Album, look no further.