366 Songs 277: Clint Eastwood

It’s funny to look back at this, Gorillaz’ second/first single (It was the first official single, but they’d snuck out a “Tomorrow Never Comes” ep before that), now; the animation seems hilariously basic compared with what followed, and the song seems very… clean, I guess, and repetitive in a way that later Gorillaz tracks aren’t (It took Demon Days for Albarn to realize what he could do with the Gorillaz concept musically, I think; the first album is much more of a tentative thing, with Dan the Automator more present than Albarn at times). And yet, the singalong quality of Albarn’s part is irresistible, and Del tha Funkee Homosapien’s contribution remains a high point for all of the Gorillaz’ material to date, matched perhaps only by Andre 3000 in “Do Ya Thing.” There’s no way to hear “Finally, someone let me out of my cage” without a smile breaking out on your face and a realization that someone has appeared without the tentativeness that’s been holding the song back until that point. What makes “Clint Eastwood” a classic is the confidence that Del brings that takes it beyond the showgazing and humility of what has come before.

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