In the seventh installment of the Song Machine, we have “The Pink Phantom.”
This song features none other than, Sir Elton John, and American rapper, 6lack (pronounced black).
This is an interesting song. Even though the Gorillaz collaborate with many artists, I never thought I would see them work with Sir Elton john. Of course I shouldn’t be that surprised since they did manage to book Snoop Dogg Back on “plastic Beach.”
“The Pink Phantom,” is appropriately piano heavy with a good presence of Damon Albarn’s classic synth stylings. It is a slow jam with a heavy, basic, and yet very fitting back beat.
Starting off, we have 2-D’s vocals which is his classic mellow, melodic tone. Then we see 6lack’s contribution. He sings with heavy auto-tune and is in stark contrast to both 2-D and Elton.
Soon after, we have the vocals of Sir Elton John which are quite similar to and compliment 2-D’s track.
After this song released, there was a good bit of controversy over the choice of features. Some fans loved the song for what it was but others thought this specific track didn’t need the addition of 6lack.
The more I listen to this song the more I start to enjoy 6lacks piece. However, I would be lying if I said I didn’t also think it was out of place here.
In my opinion, this lands at 4 or 5 on my list of Song Machine songs so far.
Looking at the video, we actually only have 2-D and Murdoc in this one, at least from the original group. We do, however, get to see the Gorillaz version of Sir Elton John. 6lack is inserted in live action form as well.
It starts with yet another shot of the new Kong studios and quickly transitions to 2-D playing the piano in a dark room. We then get a shot of him surrounded by some 1920s art deco referring to “The Pink Phantom,” and phantom vision.
Then we have a colorful 6lack with more random pink visuals behind him. After that we see Elton for the first time also playing the piano in the same dark room.
Throughout this trippy pink explosion, we see Murdoc in the background sneaking around in pursuit of, well, a pink phantom.
At the very end of it all, Murdoc comes into the room in a bullfighting outfit and an acoustic guitar. For whatever reason, he just says “its me,” and strums the guitar once breaking a string.
I have to say, after learning Sir Elton John was going to be a feature for the Gorillaz, this is not what I imagined. I'm still deciding if that's a good thing or not.
Again, here’s the link so you can check it out yourself: