Why Feel Good Inc. by the Gorillaz is a masterpiece

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Feel Good Inc is the lead song from the second album ‘Demon Days’ by the band Gorillaz released on 9 May 2005. It features an American music group called De La Soul. Gorillaz is a British virtual band consisting of virtual characters- 2-DMurdoc NiccalsNoodle, and Russel Hobbs. This band was created in 1998 by musician Damon Albarn and artist Jamie Hewlett. The song is one of the best creations by the band and is ranked high at several different lists.

Song Meaning

At the start of the music video, we see a large city which almost looks like an industrial wasteland. Somewhere within the city, a huge tower is located which extends high up even above the clouds. The tower is the building where Feel Good Inc. is situated.

Inside the tower, we find that a huge party is taking place and 2-D is sitting at the chair on the stage in front of several people who have gathered to have fun listening to his music live. Murdoc Niccals is surrounded by women as he plays the guitar. Now, 2-D seems somewhat depressed and starts singing. In the lyrics he talks about how humanity is moving forward probably hinting at urbanization which leads to a lot of destruction of nature and unhealthy living for people. The people in the concert seem dazed and almost asleep probably through the influence of dr*gs or s*x. 2-D mentions how people’s lives have changed a lot since the past. The fast paced modern life causes people to be stressed out for most of their day to day life. This has impacted 2-D in a profound way as he doesn’t get sleep probably because he is dealing with tension all the time.

Now, in the chorus he is singing about windmill. This is him reminiscing the olden times in villages where people used to live carefree and a healthy lifestyle. He is looking at Noodle who is having fun playing music on a green island floating in the air. He wishes he could be in her shoes as he is gazing from the window.

I remember the beginning of the formation of ‘Feel Good. Inc.’ quite clearly. I had a beat that was a little bit ’80s, very upbeat. But maybe halfway through, my attention wandered. I played something more acoustic, just something that reminded me of the countryside. So I wrote down some keywords to help with the lyrical imagery. ‘Windmill’ was one of them. It was a trigger to symbolize a different time and also a reference to the ‘dark, satanic mills’ that William Blake wrote about in his verse of ‘Jerusalem.’ I remember that it all started when I was reading the ingredients off the back of a [potato chip] packet.

The windmill imagery line is a representation of a note of optimism, a memory of a simpler time. Uh, like maybe, a snapshot of an older world, more innocent.

Noodle on Feel Good Inc

Then De La Soul enters the scene where the rapper is singing about controlling the artists and using them to make money. De La Soul is probably the head of Feel Good Inc corporate where they use artists to create music for the company. He is singing play these ponies at the track, its my chocolate attack. This could refer to how the company is using music almost like a weapon to make money or influence their customers in some way. The rapper is the leader who is actually revealing his tactics. 2-D has no choice but to follow what the leader is telling him to do.

The windmill appears again and noodle is blissfully playing music with her guitar. The helicopters enter the scene where they are chasing the land mass floating in the air. This is perhaps referring to industrialists wanting to capitalize on the free land that they can obtain for themselves. El Manana is a continuation of the Feel Good Inc music video where in the helicopters start attacking noodle firing bullets at her. Meanwhile, 2-D keeps repeating Feel Good in order to make himself feel as if he is fine. This is probably an attempt to help him escape the depressing situation he is put in.

So, that is the story behind the song in my opinion.

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