Music Review: Gorillaz’s iPad-produced ’Fall’ is fun

Gorillaz, “The Fall” (EMI Records)

Just because the Gorillaz recorded their latest album with the help of the iPad doesn’t mean you can. You ask why? It’s because frontman Damon Albarn is a musical genius and, well, you probably are not.

“The Fall” was recorded while the virtual band toured North America last fall. They used 20 iPad applications to create the 15-track set, which is the group’s most simplistic album yet. And that isn’t a bad thing.

While most of the songs are titled after places the group visited on tour, other tracks are highlighted by objects that inspire Albarn: There’s the gloomy “Little Pink Plastic Bags” and “Revolving Doors,” a tune that sounds like Albarn is searching for something — or searching for himself.

“The Fall,” Gorillaz’s fourth album, was recorded in just 32 days. It was released for free on Christmas Day to fan-club members and was available as a stream for the rest of the world; a physical disc is planned this year.

While the new record has a nice sound, it’s not as top-notch as the band’s past CDs, including the genre-bending “Plastic Beach,” one of 2010’s best albums.

The other downfall is the lack of collaborations on the record, which the cartoon band is widely — and respectfully — known for. You won’t find songs with great assists from De La Soul, Snoop Dogg or Little Dragon. However, veteran singer-songwriter Bobby Womack is still around, and on “Bobby in Phoenix,” he is both magically talented on the guitar and on the mic.

CHECK OUT THIS TRACK: Though tour life is probably tons of fun, there must be times when the road gets lonely, and that’s perfectly represented on the amazing “Amarillo.”

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