The Fall is synth pop heaven. When Damon Albarn had some free time on tour, he grabbed is iPad and made a new album in between gigs. Without the great operas or hip hop guest singers, he had to use the abilities of the iPad to give us The Fall. The fifteen tracks make for interesting listening, and probably a great advert on what can be accomplished on the tablet device.
The selection of tracks are low beat, have simple repetitive synth, and tend to share a similar sound. The disadvantages of quickly plucking together some ideas and sticking them together, but together as one whole piece they come together. From Montreal to Seattle the synth carries onwards, we follow. As each track focuses on a different part of the tour, it feels like we are in for the ride, hearing the unknowns, the worries and the beauty. The synth may feel like a continuation, but with different tones of voice and additional instruments, it shows the high and lows remarkably well. It is meant to be a continuation, we are on a trip after all.
The Fall shows how Gorillaz is a musical project willing to experiment and welcome in new technology. It hasn’t been as warmly received by fans expecting a grand epic like Plastic Beach, but it was never going to be. This was a month of work, which makes it quite a spectacle. The quality is high, and it has a distinct feeling of journey, which I’m sure was the desired result. In between the loud bombastic concerts, to see this quiet, calm creation shows a contrast on what the feelings must have been like in the trailers.
Though while this accomplishment provides chilled out listening and a stab at fresh execution on music creation, it doesn’t bring the cartoon world with it. It feels like a piece formed largely by one character, the one we see on the album cover perhaps, and the rest of the Gorillaz are too busy partying to provide any input. A cartoon character of a cartoon group going off to form a solo project under the same name. Or perhaps the death of the dynamic cast who might have been holding back this sort of creation.