The Fall (Gorillaz album)

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The Fall
LP by Gorillaz
Released 18 April 2011
Recorded 3 October – 3 November 2010, Various locations across the U.S. and Canada
Genre Trip hop, electronica
Length 43:28
Label Parlophone, Virgin, Warner Bros.
Producer Gorillaz, Stephen Sedgwick
Gorillaz album chronology
iTunes Session
(2010)
The Fall
(2011)
The Singles Collection 2001–2011
(2011)
Damon Albarn chronology
iTunes Session
(2010)
The Fall
(2011)
Kinshasa One Two
(2011)
Singles from The Fall
  1. "Phoner to Arizona"
    Released: 24 December 2010
  2. "Revolving Doors"
    Released: 14 March 2011[1]'
  3. "Amarillo"
    Released: 14 March 2011[1]

The Fall is an album from British virtual band Gorillaz. The album was officially announced on 20 December 2010[2] and soon after released on 25 December 2010 as a "free" download on the Gorillaz website, exclusively to fans in the band's Sub-Division fan club.[3] The album features fewer guest artists than previous Gorillaz albums; collaborators include Mick Jones and Paul Simonon of The Clash and Bobby Womack. The "Phoner to Arizona" music video, a compilation of footage and images taken from the tour and the phase was posted on YouTube on 22 December.[4] The album was physically released on 18 April 2011.[5][6][7]

Recording[edit]

The entire album was recorded on group co-founder Damon Albarn's iPad during the American leg of the Escape to Plastic Beach World Tour in October 2010 and mixed in England by Stephen Sedgwick. Albarn said of the recording: "I literally made it on the road. I didn't write it before, I didn't prepare it. I just did it day by day as a kind of diary of my experience in America. If I left it until the New Year to release it then the cynics out there would say, 'Oh well, it's been tampered with', but if I put it out now they'd know that I haven't done anything because I've been on tour ever since."[8][9][10]

Gorillaz lead vocalist 2D stated on episode 5 of the Pirate Radio broadcasts on the band's website that he wrote "Revolving Doors" after he saw a set of revolving doors in a hotel and it reminded him of how far he was from home and how out of place he was.[11]

Apps used[edit]

As adapted from the Gorillaz website.[12]

Speak It! Text to Speech / SoundyThingie / Mugician / Sylo Synthesiser, Sylo Synthesiser Pro / Synth / FunkBox Drum Machine / gliss / AmpliTube for iPad / XENON Groove Synthesizer / KORG iELECTRIBE / bs-16i / Mellotronics M3000 for iPad / Cleartune – Chromatic Tuner / iORGEL HD / olsynth / StudioMini XL Recording Studio / Bassline / Harmonizer / Dub Siren Pro / Moog Filtatron

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 67/100[13]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[14]
The A.V. Club B+[15]
Clash 8/10[16]
Consequence of Sound 3/5 stars[17]
Entertainment.ie 3/5 stars[18]
Entertainment Weekly B−[19]
The Guardian 3/5 stars[20]
NME 8/10[21]
Pitchfork Media 5.8/10.0[22]
PopMatters 6/10[23]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[24]
Slant Magazine 3/5 stars[25]

The Fall received positive reviews from most music critics.[13] At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 67, based on 25 reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews".[13]

Lacking the feel of previous offerings, the album was praised for its unique qualities and experimental nature. It did not receive the fame of previous albums but was rather treated as a pet project that resulted from the group's prior North American tour.[26] The album used the iPad to create additional features to the tracks. Other instruments featured on the album include Korg Vocoder, Ukulele, microKORG, Omnichord, Minimoog Voyager, Melodica, Guitar, Piano and Korg Monotron.

Collaborations[edit]

Previous Gorillaz albums featured large numbers of guests. Their previous album Plastic Beach has guests on 13 of the 16 tracks with multiple guests per track, totalling more guest artists than tracks. The Fall includes only four guest artists. Three of these four have worked with Damon Albarn before. Mick Jones and Bobby Womack appeared on Plastic Beach, as did Paul Simonon, who also worked on Albarn’s project The Good, the Bad & the Queen.[27] American rapper Pharrell Williams of N.E.R.D also recorded a track with Albarn while touring together, but his track does not appear on the album.[28]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Recorded Length
1. "Phoner to Arizona"   3rd October, Montreal 4:14
2. "Revolving Doors"   5th October, Boston 3:26
3. "HillBilly Man"   10th and 11th October, New Jersey and Virginia 3:50
4. "Detroit"   13th October, Detroit 2:03
5. "Shy-town"   15th October, Chicago 2:54
6. "Little Pink Plastic Bags"   16th October, Chicago 3:09
7. "The Joplin Spider"   18th October, Joplin 3:22
8. "The Parish of Space Dust"   19th October, Houston 2:25
9. "The Snake in Dallas"   20th October, Dallas 2:11
10. "Amarillo"   23rd October, Amarillo 3:24
11. "The Speak It Mountains"   24th October, Denver 2:14
12. "Aspen Forest" (featuring. Paul Simonon) 25th October, Santa Fe and 3rd November, Vancouver 2:50
13. "Bobby in Phoenix" (featuring. Bobby Womack) 26th October, Phoenix 3:16
14. "California and the Slipping of the Sun"   30th October, Oakland 3:24
15. "Seattle Yodel" (featuring. The Archie McPhee Yodelling Pickle) 2nd November, Seattle 0:38
Total length:
43:28

Additional personnel[edit]

  • Guitar on track 3 by Mick Jones[29]
  • Additional keyboards on track 6 by Jesse Hackett
  • Bass on track 12 by Paul Simonon
  • Qanun on track 12 by James R Grippo
  • Vocals, guitar and additional songwriting on track 13 by Bobby Womack
  • Vocals on track 15 by The Archie McPhee Yodelling Pickle

Chart positions[edit]