The Austin Chronicle

Phases & Stages

Reviewed by Raoul Hernandez, April 23, 2010, Music


Plastic Beach (Virgin)

Lapping waves introduce Snoop Dogg dropping dystopian Planet of the Apes verse in opener "Welcome to the World of the Plastic Beach." Greenpeace ensues until Damon Albarn shuffles his best simian gene hop since "Feel Good Inc" with a synthetic ballad straight out of the Thompson Twins' laptop. In the downbeat drip of "Rhinestone Eyes" blink "paralytic dreams" of our refuse culture. Follow that with the steely club pulse of Albarn, Mos Def, and Bobby Womack ("Stylo"), then De La Soul and Super Furry Animal Gruff Rhys popover "Superfast Jellyfish," plus bloomin' Technicolor fruition "Empire Ants" and UV rays apply an atom tan. The Windows operating system segue of Mark E. Smith ("Glitter Freeze") into Lou Reed ("Some Kind of Nature") is as apropos as used syringes littering Plastic Beach, which defines the disc's wasteland second half after "On Melancholy Hill." "Rhinestone Cowboy," meet "Rhinestone Eyes."


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