I am actually absolutely frustrated by the negative responses people have had towards this song. Mostly because most common complaint I’ve seen was that there was too much Benjamin Celmentine and too little Gorillaz. Are people oblivious to Gorillaz’s constant collaboration with the countless talented artists in the past? (I’m really quite pissed by those comments). It is the different collaborations that has made Gorillaz special and make each album creatively different. Some of my favourite Gorillaz songs are ones that where the featuring artist have sung a significant part, Fire Coming Out of A Monkey’s Head, Doncamatic (I’m not ashamed), November has Come, Stylo, Some Kind of Nature, Empire Ants, I could go on. I feel that Benjamin Clementine’s vocals actually add to the track, calm and collected but yet assertive and bold enough to capture your attention, actually making you listen to this political message of corrupt politicians and worshiping money, a message that is pretty relevant right now. I am always grateful to Gorillaz for introducing to me to these new, up and coming and exceptionally interesting artists.
Another common complaint that I seriously disagree with is that the track is boring. It’s anything but. The track is quite intriguing, it builds progressively but ultimately proves to be still calm and gentle, kind of leaving with you with chills (I kind of ignored Spongebob running away crying which I don’t think I want to analyse Spongebob). Maybe the beat seems uninspired but I think that it sounds just like the Gorillaz I’ve always known and adored and I think its composed ambiance of the track is just to make way for Clementine’s strong and poetic words spoken through his distinctively passionate voice. The beat actually nicely accompanies Clementine while Damon Albarn will from time to time softly question the future of the human race (a voice which I have missed), elevating the song to feel just that more poignant.
I love Gorillaz and have been anticipating their comeback just as much as any other fan but the escalating hype surrounding the Gorillaz’s comeback was probably this track’s downfall. I just think that expectations have been built up to the point that disappointment was inevitable. I really think that people just have to give a few more listens or just wait for the entire album to be released (I have faith in Gorillaz).