One of my favorite alternative bands, Gorillaz, released their 3rd studio album a couple of weeks ago entitled Plastic Beach. Suffice to say, since then it’s been in heavy rotation in my music playlist.

Some background info on this band that’s not even real in a sense. Gorillaz is the virtual band, brainchild of Britpop pioneer David Albarn and comic book artist/designer Jamie Hewlett. The faces of the band are the completely animated/cartoon characters by the names of 2D, Russel Hobbs,  Noodle, and Murdoc Niccals. First created in 1998, the Gorillaz took off in 2001 after the release of their self-titled 1st studio album. Carried by the strength of  singles such as “Clint Eastwood”, the album was a surprise hit that went on to sell 7 million copies worldwide. Not bad for a virtual band right?

Coming back to the present of 2010, and Plastic Beach arrives. Gorillaz are known for great collaborations with a variety of well-known and indie artists (Dale The Funkee Homosapien, Snoop Dogg, De La Soul to name a few) and they don’t disappoint on this effort. However, that’s not to say that this band can’t carry songs, without a featured artist, by themselves. Give “Broken” a peek and you’ll see what I mean. Yet again, the album leads off with a strong single: “Stylo” featuring Mos Def and Bobby Womack (brush up on your soul singers kiddies). The song has a disco vibe to it, but Mos Def’s addition brings a great effect as he begins rapping first on the song. Insert Bobby Womack’s voice and it really helps to tie it all together. Check it below:

As far as closing remarks go, the album is a solid hit. It’s not genre breaking (after all the Gorillaz can’t really be pinned to just one genre), nor is it innovative. However, if you want an alternative to what you may listen to everyday, then this group is worth a listen.

One More Thing: I just have to say I enjoy a mixtape, ep, album, whatever all the more when it features a new artist/band who’s sound i enjoy. Makes me curious about them and 9/10 times, I like what i hear to the point that they get added to my library. This album did that for me with a group by the name of Little Dragon (featured on two tracks), and I look forward to posting more about them in the future.