The hardest working man in showbiz has had a busy three years, forming a supergroup, writing an opera, composing a theatrical score and re-forming Blur.

But it seems that Damon Albarn also found the time to make a new album under his all-conquering Gorillaz moniker.

Built around a vague environmental theme, Plastic Beach picks up where Demon Days left off, with Albarn enlisting a disparate array of guests – Lou Reed and Mos Def, Bobby Womack and Gruff Rhys – to give focus to his collection of spare, toe-tapping backing tracks.

There are stretches when the variety-show jumble of styles and singers works in its favour (Superfast Jellyfish, Stylo, Sweepstakes), and there are stretches when it’s a bit of a mess.

Occasionally it sounds like Albarn’s recycling the grooves he found down the back of his sofa.

Still, there’s no one else who’d even try this, much less succeed at it. A lot of fun but what’ll he do next?

[View: ]