It’s been six years since we last heard from the animated brainchild of Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlitt on the last Gorillaz album The Fall.
While The Fall didn’t reach the level of acclaim that their previous three projects achieved, it did act as a pure reinforcement of the core tenets of Gorillaz' overall philosophy, which has been to make music they believe in, when they believe in it, regardless of any criticisms.
That formula is the basis of Gorillaz’ success, creating a 16-year odyssey of artistic achievement and iconic existence out of a fictional, virtual band whose initial purpose was to be the antithesis of the drivel flowing from MTV’s broadcast towers.
After six years of silence, the animated heroes have returned with a new single and video titled “Hallelujah Money,” and it’s clear that the world needs them now more than ever, a responsibility they seem more than ready to oblige.
Seriously, holy shit this video is intense.
Much in the same way Gorillaz introduced the masses to Del Tha Funkee Homosapien on their first single “Clint Eastwood,” “Hallelujah Money” features an electrifying performance from Benjamin Clementine that will surely send Google search inquiries for the British poet and musician skyrocketing.
Clementine takes center stage throughout the psychedelic video, hauntingly crooning an ironic ode to the theoretical great nation that our soon-to-be president Donald Trump has rattling around in his bleach-soaked brain.
A cinematic commentary of iconic footage, both literally and metaphorically, lies on top of Clementine’s ghastly performance, and only occasionally are we treated to the silhouettes of 2D and company, almost as if to gently remind us that they’re the maestros behind this grandiose depiction of our potential future.
Animal Farm clips appear next to footage of KKK rallies. Images of burning oil fields are followed by cartoonish depictions of the liberty bell and joyous birds. Both the video and Benjamin’s performance offer a jarring juxtaposition that contrasts the reality of the world against the twisted remnants of the American dream that we’re left to face under Trump’s rule.
With “Hallelujah Money,” the Gorillaz crew has made it clear that they’re not finished offering their unique commentary on the goings on of the world, and I personally couldn't be more grateful.
By Brent Bradley. Follow him on Twitter.
Photo Credit: YouTube