Album: Gorillaz, The Fall (Parlophone)

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The Independent Culture

The Fall was sneak-released to fan-club members on Christmas Day, just nine months after Plastic Beach, but is only now getting a wider physical release to the slowcoaches of the general populace.

If these gimmicky shenanigans mean that it falls down the cracks in the public consciousness it will be a real shame.

Recorded on tour in North America late last year – The Fall is inevitably something of a travelogue, and no fewer than eight song titles contain US place names – the band's fourth album was created entirely on Albarn's iPad, and sees him fiddling around with every app he can get his fingertips on.

They've eased up on the guest spots, but "Bobby in Phoenix" features a gorgeous turn from Mr Womack. And though there's no smash hit leaping out, with its consistent unity of atmosphere, The Fall is the most cohesive Gorillaz album yet.