Momentary Bliss: How “Gorillaz” New Release Changed Hip-Hop Forever

Gorillaz” has always been known to push the boundaries of human nature with their music. Known as a “Virtual Band,” this group, containing four fictional characters, push their “Reject False Icons” agenda within their music, urging people to think for themselves, and not to idolize musicians in today’s world. Their new January 2020 single “Momentary Bliss” is no different in its approach to today’s society.
The band itself, created by Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett, is a completely fictional band hailing from the UK, where live concerts are replaced with so-called “Reality Duplicates.” They consist of 2-D (Vocals/Keys), Murdoc Niccals (Bass Guitar), Russel Hobbs (Percussion), and Noodle (Lead Guitar). They have been around since the early 90’s, being formed in 1998 and with their debut EP “Gorillaz” being released in 2001, with hits like “Clint Eastwood,” “Rock the House,” “19-2000,” and“Tomorrow comes Today.”

“Momentary Bliss” itself comes after the albums “The Now Now” in 2018 and “Humanz” in 2017. “Humanz” was very poorly received by critics, calling its vast exploration through various genres such as pop, punk, rock, and hip-hop. Their style has been described as disorganized and cluttered. Their response to critics wasThe Now Now,” with even more variety in sounds and “unorganized” feeling tracks. “Momentary Bliss” is no different, being more niche and out-there. Further proving that mass media and culture won’t stop them from making music. It’s not for everyone, it’s for them.

The song “Momentary Bliss” is very upbeat, with a positive-sounding verse by UK rappers Slowtai and Slaves. However, a further analysis of the lyrics shows that there’s more to the song than just a classic punk-pop hit. The first line of “Momentary Bliss” displays their message clearly, saying: 

We could do so much better than this, Emotionally in fences and momentary bliss.” 

This could be closely tied to people’s negative outlook of themselves on social media, comparing themselves to supermodels all over the internet. Another lyric is one that sticks out to me a lot: 

..It makes me sick to think you ain’t happy in your skin..” 

The bridge of the song is repetition of the words “Poster Boy” and “Poster Girl,” further driving the fact home that people are too easily influenced by social media icons, such as artists, or models, the kind you would see on a type of poster. 

Perfect little pictures of moments that we missed..” 

That line could very well be referencing how today’s society would rather record a video or take a picture than to live in the moment, sacrificing the overall experience. In another short commentary-type song named “Machine Bitez 3,” lead vocalist 2-D (Voiced by Damon Albarn) can be heard describing “Momentary Bliss” as  “…False Idols…and people who aren’t [in] control of their own destiny… and they have gave their destiny to other people [false idols, superstars and role models] in hopes to finally be happy…”

“The truth, the bills they must be paid and what is left is sorta atypical” “All you need to change your face” “You’re gettin’ sold, you’re such a waste…”

 The song as a whole urges people to love themselves instead of depriving themselves of what makes them happy, in hopes to be more like the corporately-constructed idols that they worship and, well, idolize. With happy tunes, and more subtle of a meaning, this song is a great collection in the “Gorillaz” lineup, as well as a good starting point for any new coming fan, whether they just enjoy the music, or their approach to today’s society and their views.