While on tour last fall (hence the album name) The Gorillaz decided to further merge technology and music by bringing along an iPad and a traveling mini studio with plans to write and instantly record a new record. With the ability to put pen to paper, or rather finger to tablet, and then immediately turn around and record, The Gorillaz have successfully brought back true emotion and meaning to music. Usually, when an artist writes, they jot notes here or there as inspiration hits, and then often times months later will finally get into the windowless studio where they are essentially forced to try to remember the exact feelings they had for each line of each song and then replicate those emotions. With The Gorillaz able to instantly record something they wrote merely minutes before, the raw intensity of each note is felt throughout the entire album. There is no forced emotional replication here.
The other advantage to writing and recording on the road is the ability to be inspired by their surroundings. Each song was written at various points on tour, with a different landscape decorating their tour bus windows. And such visual inspiration brings a new element to the songs that has not been present on another album in recent years. Songs such as “The Parish of Space Dust” bring us into middle America’s country setting, while a guest appearance by soul great Bobby Womack is the albums gem on the track “Bobby In Phoenix”.
While this album is the exact opposite of the feel of the bands other hits, such as their smash hit “Clint Eastwood,” it’s a major step forward in the music industry in terms of raising the creative bar, and that is much more valuable. If Damon Albarn and crew keep turning out such mind-bending artwork, other bands will finally be forced to take a step back and reevaluate their approach to the industry they have slowly started destroying. Change is inevitable and The Gorillaz are forcing that important first step with The Fall.
Review compliments of: Hidden Agenda, www.hidagenda.com