Dear Media Guy,
I was hoping you could suggest a newly released, insanely catchy and poppy -- but also rather deranged -- song for my iPod. Something, perhaps, that is the best track on the new album from, like, a largely forgotten virtual band that hasn't released a record in years, and is actually fronted by a Britpop icon from the '90s. Preferably a song that features awesome guest vocals from Lou Reed, doing his old-man-Lou quasi-rap, so it's really more of a Lou Reed song than anything. And it'd be great if it were a song that has been haunting you for weeks -- that you frequently find yourself singing in your head when you wake up. That you continue singing in your head while you brush your teeth. That reverberates in your head while you make your morning cup of coffee. That you play when you first sit down at your laptop to check your e-mail. That might just ruin your life. And which also kind of explains everything. -- Needy Reader
As it happens, I've got the perfect song for you! "Some Kind of Nature," from "Plastic Beach," the fantastic new album from Gorillaz, Blur frontman's Damon Albarn's arty side-project band that basically consists of him and guest musicians. It includes an unlikely collection of cameo vocals from not only Reed, but De La Soul and Gruff Rhys, Mark E. Smith, Mos Def, Bobby Womack, Mick Jones, the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble and even Snoop Dogg. (You can stream samples of all 16 tracks at Amazon; "Some Kind of Nature" is No. 9.) Critics, by the way, generally love it. BBC Music's Mark Beaumont, for example, had this to say about the album: "Sprawling, daring, innovative, surprising, muddled and magnificent. ... The scope and depth of Plastic Beach is staggering. For anyone frustrated that Blur never quite managed their White Album, look no further."
Oh, and those "Some Kind of Nature" lyrics I can't get out of my head? Here's a sample: Some kind of nature / Some kind of soul / Some kind of mixture / Some kind of gold / Some kind of majesty / Some chemical load / Some kind of metal made up from glue / Some kind of plastic I could wrap around you.
"Plastic Beach" is my favorite new album of the spring so far, and I'm randomly giving away two copies (in your choice of physical CD or digital download).
THE FINE PRINT: To enter my random drawing in this informal Media Guy's Pop Pick giveaway, send me an e-mail with "Plastic Beach" in the subject line on or before April 16 (the cut-off is 12 midnight EST). You must have a valid U.S. mailing address and be 18 or older.
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Simon Dumenco is the "Media Guy" media columnist for Advertising Age. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco