Plastic Beach - Gorillaz

Generally favorable reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 34
  2. Negative: 1 out of 34
  1. The whole thing works beautifully, more with each listen.
  2. 100
    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.
  3. There was nothing like "Demon Days" before and there's been nothing like it since. Until now.[...] Plastic Beach picks up several steps on from where its predecessor left off. [Apr 2010, p.104]
  4. Its real strength lies in the fact that it implores you to return for repeated visits to a world riddled with other people's cast-offs. Ironically, it recycles nothing; everything here is box fresh.
  5. Though it's only to be considered "pop" in the most obscure sense, and it goes to show Albarn has a pretty warped concept of the term, Plastic Beach provides the almighty shakeup that pop music has needed for some time.
  6. More than happy to engage the pop mainstream (once heard, the irresistible, day-glo chorus of "Superfast Jellyfish" is never forgotten), yet experimental enough to satisfy the hipsters, these cartoon characters just made the first 3-D album of the new decade.
  7. It will be the simple fact that it’s as good as anything Albarn has ever done and for the Gorillaz, a fantastically tailored album from top to bottom.
  8. Plastic Beach is a full blown hip-hop/trip-hop album and a prime example of how to stray away from one genre to dominate another. If Albarn has done anything with this project, he has shown his knowledge of flawless production and the ability to create aesthetically pleasing tunes.
  9. The one-time Blur frontman has transcended some of the post-modern artifice of this project, and created the group's most affecting and uniquely inviting album. Joke's over, Gorillaz are real.
  10. He never panders to them; instead, Plastic Beach's guest vocals are anchored by Albarn's own melodic flair. His falsettoed ennui shines through, and the songs are loaded with Albarn's pet sounds.
  11. Find, here, Gorillaz’ third record, some sort of masterpiece within the band’s canon, and undoubtedly the best chillwave record ever recorded.
  12. Plastic Beach runs out of steam toward the end, but Gorillaz combine their myriad of voices better than they ever have, creating a mood that’s simultaneously nostalgic and ominous.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 262 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 65 out of 70
  2. Negative: 3 out of 70
  1. newt
    Mar 10, 2010
    Hmm. Not so good. Really wanted to love it, loved previous gorillaz... love collabs, & downtempo, & world & rap plus anything & electronica & grime & meloncholia & all the elements this album has... but the album as a whole doesn't work. the songs are actually boring, even noodley at parts... wow. very disappointed. not one track that makes me sit up and hit repeat right away, & have listened a few times waiting for it to grow on me but... it doesn't. not really recommended, sorry to say. and this from a big time fan. Full Review »
  2. MirceaC.
    Mar 9, 2010
    I know why some people underrate this splendid album from Gorillaz. It's because Plastic Beach brings pop music to a new level and some people still can't admit it, or let's say, they still can't see the light at the end of the tunnel. It sounds different from any other pop album, and of course Gorillaz album, but it doesn't mean that it's bad. This album may not have singles like "Feel Good Inc." and "Clint Eastwood", but it's been rewarded with songs like "On Melancholy Hill" (my favourite), "Some Kind of Nature", "Superfast Jellyfish" and finally "Empire Ants", which from my point of view are the climax of this album (or should I say, the cherry on top of the cake?). I agree that Stylo isn't a really strong single compared to any other singles Gorillaz made, but it has its moments. The rest of the songs are also great (not the best of course) but magnificent. Put them all the songs together (aka Plastic Beach) and you'll see something new, unique and refreshing for pop music. Better than Demon Days? That's what people ask for ages. I will say, with all my heart, yes. As I said above, Plastic Beach might not have 'strong' singles, but, it brings something new and unique. Something which Demon Days didn't really bring. It was and still is a great album from Gorillaz, but unfortunately, I don't think it brought pop music to a new level like Plastic Beach. Indeed, this is one of the best albums which came out in 2010. Maybe the best. Full Review »
  3. AndrewH.
    Mar 20, 2010
    this time around the gorillaz got it right with fresh sounds and new collabs. this time around i can;t help but find these tracks being set to repeat on my ipod songs like "Rhinestone Eyes" or "Stlyo are already imprinted forever in my head. Good job Gorillaz. Full Review »