Hallelujah Money

Jeremy Hargrove, Staff Writer

British rock band, Gorillaz released a song for the first time in six years, appropriately titled “Hallelujah Money.” Released January 19, this track takes several not-so-subtle jabs at the 45th president, Donald Trump.

Gorillaz is a band of a different type: the band members are non-existent, animated characters created by Damon Albarn. Following the release of their 2010 album, Plastic Beach, Albarn has used social media accounts to tease the idea of a new album. On the Thursday before Trump’s entrance to the White House, Gorillaz delivered.

The title of the music video says the track features Benjamin Clementine, one of Britain’s most well-renowned poets and pianists. The supposed “feature” is a bit of an understatement, given that Clementine sings the verses, the chorus, and is the primary focus of the music video.

The video depicts Clementine in a golden elevator, and the message is already apparent: Gorillaz is against Trump. Throughout the video, footage of the Ku Klux Klan, references to George Orwell’s Animal Farm, and a surprise cameo from Spongebob Squarepants highlight their disdain for the new president.

The track’s lyrics make direct references to his campaign, including Trump’s promise to build a wall along the southern border of the U.S, Trump’s friendliness towards Alex Jones (a known conspiracy theorist who believes in governmental “chemtrails”), and how Trump’s presidency may spell the end of America.

When Spongebob makes his surprise cameo near the very end of the video, the clip is pulled from the episode “Karate Choppers.” In the clip, Spongebob begins to loudly cry and run from the camera, following Mr. Krabs’ line from the episode, “You’re fired.” Gorillaz has been making songs for over 19 years, yet they’ve only become more obvious with their symbolism.

Clementine’s vocals are decent enough. His low drones add to the disturbing atmosphere of the music video, but it doesn’t truly fit the style Gorillaz has become known for. They have done slower tracks in the past (“Dracula,” “Tomorrow Comes Today,” and “El Manana”), but this song seems to go on forever. The video is four and a half minutes, yet it seems to go on much longer and overstays its welcome.

The message has been said a thousand different times by a thousand different artists. Gorillaz could have at least made their attempt at it interesting to listen to. We’ll just have to wait and see what the rest of the album brings when it finally comes out.