The Vine album review: Gorillaz – ‘The Fall’, January 2011

An album review for The Vine. Excerpt below.

Gorillaz The Fall

This album costs zero dollars. Released via on Christmas Day 2010,The Fall could be the biggest free album release this side of Prince taping his discs to British newspapers in 2007 – but even that cost a pound or two. Sure, Radiohead released In Rainbows that year, but the element of guilt (“pay what you think it’s worth”) translated into at least a couple of million for the band, and that was pre-physical release.

Gorillaz aren’t interested in that. For the cost of an email address, The Fall is yours. This also puts music critics in an interesting position. Arguably, a key value of music critics to their reading audience, is our willingness to test the artistic waters, musically speaking. To suggest, in part, whether an album is worth buying (or – these days – “downloading”). When music is free, that barrier to entry is destroyed. Here, listeners have nothing to lose besides time. The music critic is effectively defanged. So what you should do right now, before reading any further, is visit thewebsite, plug in an email address, and download your own copy. (Interestingly, the disclaimer at the bottom states that the album may not be “sold, transferred, altered or copied (including burning and uploading to the internet) without the express prior written approval of EMI Records Ltd”. Good luck with that.)

This isn’t a traditional Gorillaz album like Plastic Beach or Demon Days. It was written and recorded by head Gorilla Damon Albarn while the band toured North America in late 2010. All of the songs were arranged using an Apple iPad, though the production platform is less compelling than the notion itself.

For the full review, visit The Vine. For more Gorillaz, visit their website. The music video for ‘Phoner To Arizona‘ is embedded below.

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