I'd been looking forward to this one for a while and I haven't been disappointed, not even a little bit.
The cartoon back story, about drummers called Russel Hobbs (arf!), islands made out of rubbish and kidnapped lead singers might at first lead you to believe that the concept as a whole is wearing a bit thin, but it really isn't.
Not that you'd know it from the start- a nothing, swirly intro followed by Snoop Dog phoning in a performance on Welcome to the World of Plastic Beach, but from here on in, things take a massive turn for the better.
Rhinestone Eyes, Stylo and Superfast Jellyfish are all magnificent, and there's still better -far better- to come. Empire Ants, On Melancholy Hill and my personal favourite Some Kind of Nature are as good as popular music gets.
The scope, vision and depth of this album is staggering. Look beyond the cartoon visuals people, this is better than anything Blur managed.