The time's are changing, and all the tides are about to turn: Donald Trump is officially president tomorrow, and Gorillaz are officially back. What a year. The band has released a rugged new track to usher in Trump's presidency called 'Hallelujah Money' featuring French-born poet Benjamin Clementine. It's a weird one.
'Hallelujah Money' is a pretty jarring song. It's definitely a change for Gorillaz, but it's hard to call it much of an evolution. The song doesn't really feel like much of a Gorillaz song at all, if you're familiar with their more recent works. Further back in their catalogue, there are some similar elements. 'Hallelujah Money' is a pretty barren track, the synths and wobbly bass beat are really the only thing consistent throughout the track without much being added to them. The choruses bring in some sparkling synths and choirs, but beyond that, there really isn't much else.
There's a lot of Trump bashing on this track, though, so it does make its statement. The music video provides clips from various shows and historical events that act as slams on Donald Trump - scenes of KKK gatherings, kingly gestures, and rioting are all present behind an admittedly creepy stare from Benjamin Clementine. The lyrics also provide some bashing: the first verse alone ominously croons "Here is our tree... When you go to bed / Scarecrows from the far east / Come to eat / Its tender fruits" and "I thought the best way to perfect our tree / Is by building walls / Walls like unicorns." There isn't much subtlety in the track, but Benjamin Clementine's poetic and soothing does sound nice above the clean synths.
Gorillaz are back, but we're not quite so sure if its the big comeback just yet. The direction isn't so much the problem as is the execution. The video's message is apparent, as well is the songs, but it's just missing a crucial element of it that makes the song sound like it were a Gorillaz song. It's missing something, but hopefully by the time the album rolls out, they'll add their own touch to it.
Rating: 45 / 100