Gorillaz “The Pink Phantom” ft. Elton John, 6LACK — Single Review
Released on Oct.1, the latest and (arguably) greatest addition to the Gorillaz newest album, Song Machine, Season One: Strange Timez, is set to become one of the band’s best collaborations of their career.
It is no secret that the virtual band, led by singer Damon Albarn, has had almost two decades to dip their toes into other genres, but what we see in “The Pink Phantom” ft. Elton John, 6LACK takes the cake. Never would I have thought that we’d be able to witness a successful fusion of three distinct sounds.
The familiar, relaxing, lowkey hum of 2D’s voice contrasts starkly with the booming authority that Elton John’s voice commands. And as an added treat, 6LACK comes in between the verses to provide a rhythmic pallet cleanser before the chorus.
I honestly couldn’t even begin to try to categorize this song in a genre. This triad of talent simply cannot be given just one descriptor. There is a running joke among Gorillaz fans that the band liked so many genres they decided to make their own. And this latest project is just more proof on the pile.
The song itself is haunting and beautiful. When you peel back the layers and layers of metaphor, deep down it’s a love song with the three artists taking different approaches to the ending of love. But seeing as the Gorillaz is a virtual band, the imagery is not lost on fans of the music video.
In my opinion, The Pink Phantom you see floating around represents love. While 2D can reminisce about the good times of the relationship that is now over, 6LACK comments on the absolute devastation one can feel after a particularly reeling breakup. Murdoc can be seen running around, trying his best to capture the ghost, but is unsuccessful. The digitized version of Elton John can help illustrate why.
Together, Elton and 2D share a chorus singing:
“I tried to say I love you
But you didn’t listen (Sometimes)
Tried to give you everything you might need (Summer nights)
In a sky made of diamonds
And where the world is flawless
I’ll be waiting for you on the other side”
As the song progresses, we see that digital Elton is able to generate his own pink aura. One that eventually envelopes the whole screen in a wonderful kaleidoscope that I’m sure would be terrifying to look at if you were high. To me, this symbolizes that whenever a relationship ends Elton can recover with the love he has for himself.
Since late January of this year, the band has been releasing new records on a semi-monthly basis, with the entire album set to be complete its release at the end of this month. Song Machine has seen a myriad of guest appearances from Robert Smith to ScHoolboy Q, with each track containing an entirely different sound than the last.
I am highly anticipating the next few drops to finally complete the Song Machine experience.
Victor Rodriguez is a student-journalist who has bounced around multiple publications and is currently setting up shop here at Traklife. He is the winner of a few awards, including first place in Critical Review from the JACC. His first CD was the soundtrack to the Lizzie McGuire movie. His second? My Chemical Romance. He spends a lot of time thinking about the titles of books he’ll never write.
Check out his collection of work at https://linktr.ee/Victor.Rodriguez