After six years away, Gorillaz return just in time for the end. Damon Albarn’s collaborative crew taps Benjamin Clementine for lead vocals on new single “Hallelujah Money,” released on the eve of Trump’s inauguration. Thus, the track sounds like a funhouse funeral. Clementine’s baritone reeks of authority, earned or not, as he embodies utter corruption, “It’s not against our morals,” he intones. “It’s legal tender.” In the video, Albarn is reduced to a shadow of a puppet of his animated alter ego 2D. He croons helplessly, “How will we know? How will we dream? How will we love?” basic human empathy reduced to an uncertainty. Clementine’s haunting last shot combines the political, the spiritual and the dollar in a lovesick fever dream. The cut to a fleeing and sobbing SpongeBob is the punchline, mocking the simpletons who would cry foul at social commentary from a cartoon band while a caricature incarnate ascends to the highest office in the land. If the music video disturbs you, wait until you turn on the news. Gorillaz will be onboard playing away when the ship goes down, no matter who is steering.
Originally published on NDSMCObserver.