And all I wanna hear is the message beep / My dreams, they gotta kiss it because I don't get sleep, no...
- "El Mañana" from Demon Days is probably the saddest song they've written.
I saw that day,
lost my mind.
Lord, I'm fine.
Maybe in time,
you'll want to be mine.
- The song's music video encapsulates its sorrow perfectly. What starts off as a normal, happy moment with Noodle relaxing on her windmill island, goes to full blown Mood Whiplash with two fricken helicopters firing at her, causing immense damage to the island and causing it to fall to the earth, with Noodle still inside it! To see those choppers come in and smash into two of the sails and then see the windmill island burning, especially Noodle's complete Break the Cutie expression, is just devastating.. Don't be surprised that you end up with some tissues next to you.
- Even the song's artwork◊ captures the somber tone.
- 2D's expression and manner in "Feel Good Inc" is also pretty heartrending. He just looks so drained and hopeless...
- Murdoc even remarks in the commentary that he looks like a trapped boy.
- The way 2D keeps repeating "Feel good," all throughout the song....it's as if he's trying to convince himself that everything is okay, when it's obvious that it isn't.
- The live version of "Cloud of Unknowing", with Damon Albarn on vocals, can make some people tear up. The acoustic, sincere sound of the live version with Albarn's delicate voice that does not overwhelm the song and merges with it perfectly is undeniably brilliant and absolutely touching.
- Of course, Bobby Womack's performance can't be discredited either, especially the live version. The Detroit performance was a very noisy and excitable crowd — and, at the show, "Cloud of Unknowing" was the first encore. The crowd, which had been screaming for Feel Good Inc. as the encore, was brought to a complete and thoughtful silence as soon as Womack started singing. The beauty and almost desperate, questioning hopefulness of his voice live is more powerful than the studio version. The video accompanying it only made it more powerful.
- "Cloud of Unknowing" is so powerful, it's even a Tear Jerker for Murdoc. Murdoc.
Murdoc: Bobby Womack's performance on this song can also bring tears to one's eyes. That mixture of hope and uncertainty in his voice — the age and the experience, the fear and the joy...
- "Sound Check (Gravity)" sounds completely desolate, especially with its gloomy, stormy violins and how dejected 2D sounds when he sings.
- One of the lyrics' interpretations would have to be about a person who lives behind a barrier — rejecting the outside world, its misery, dullness and sorrow. How gravity is the only thing keeping this person down-to-earth, physically — and, as much as they hate being psychically dragged down from their Eden, there still is something that causes them to. They blame that thing/person for it.
- While the studio version of "To Binge" sounds like it has some hope in it, the live version is heartbreakingly depressing... the way Damon sings "just rolling in and caught again..." can be enough to make someone tear up. It does fit the song more (being hopelessly in love with an emotionless drug addict) — but GOD, is it sad...
- Songs about dysfunctional couples are rarely fun, (though they can be,) but what can really get to you is the end of the fourth stanza. "The answer's somewhere deep in it, I'm sorry that you're feeling it, but I just have to tell you that I... love you so much these days. Had to tell you that I love you so much these days, it's true." *SOB*
- Made even more powerful by the fact that Gorillaz songs rarely have to do with anything about love (the only other time "I love you" is even mentioned is in "Every Planet We Reach is Dead"). This perhaps makes the song even sadder.
- Give it a listen here. The song starts at 1:50, but the interview is pretty interesting, too.
- "Tomorrow Comes Today" from Gorillaz is another one. That detached, remorseful feel and the singer's dozy voice can give you chills. He's basically saying that he's caught up in a drug-induced haze, but even though he regrets what he's done, and he's paying dearly for his addiction, he can't break it.
- There's also a fridge tearjerker once you connect it with 2D's painkiller addiction, or if you want to go by the actual creator, Damon and heroin.
- "Broken" can be incredibly depressing when one thinks about the state of the characters after Noodle disappeared.
- Fittingly enough, the live version was co-performed with Noodle on melodica.
- In the last part of the Dressing Room cartoon, you can see Murdoc tearfully singing part of the song, and is clearly audible saying "Where did it all go wrong?". Keep in mind that if the whole "Jimmy Manson" story from Rise of the Ogre is true, it was Murdoc's idea to have the island shot down in the first place. Even if he'd never admit it out loud, Murdoc most likely blames himself for Noodle's disappearance.
- Though most of The Fall is pretty laid-back, "Amarillo", "California And The Slipping Of The Sun", and "Shy-Town" definitely qualify.
- Especially "Amarillo". Listen to the lyrics and remember that they were written solely by 2D, who's been kidnapped and trapped on an island for a year at this point and cut off from the rest of the world (save Murdoc, who hasn't been too kind to him in Phase 3). "Put a little love into my / lonely soul..." Aw, Stu. The majestic, crashing instrumentation just adds to the emotion.
- "Revolving Doors." That shaky, tired voice and the mellow ukulele loop can really get under your skin. It describes a rough sense of overwhelming and insignificance, of reflection and fugue; like the world's just too much to handle sometimes. Combine that with its nagging chant of a chorus and it's pure Tear Jerker material.
- Hell, the album's entire concept is a big one for 2D. It charts his time trapped under Plastic Beach being forced to write songs for Murdoc, with all the angst and depression you'd expect. It just further cements their Woobie/Jerkass statuses, respectively.
- "On Melancholy Hill". Especially "Well, you can't get what you want, but you can get me." and "Cause you are my medicine, when you're close to me. When you're close to me." It's one of those rare songs that's neither amorous nor saccharine, just sweet. It's basically saying, 'nothing's perfect, but I'll do whatever I can to make it better, because I feel like I'm a better person when I'm with you.' Cue innumerable fans sobbing like babies.
- That broken, desperate voice of 2-D's in "Starshine."
- The cover of The xx's Crystalised is utterly depressing and hopeless sounding. The haunting background vocals just add to the completely desolate tone.
- "Dirty Harry" doesn't seem like that heartbreaking of a song, until you really take a listen to the lyrics:
At night I hear the shots
Ring so I'm a light sleeper
The cost of life,
it seems to get cheaper
out in the desert
- "Andromeda" is a major case of Lyrical Dissonance. The song was inspired by the death of the mother of Damon Albarn's partner, and from there he was reminded of other friends he lost like Bobby Womack, who passed away in 2014. As 2D sings of finding solace in happy memories when you feel cold and alone, he outrights starts crying during the bridge.
- "Busted and Blue". It's the only song on Humanz with no features, and it's a melancholy song with 2D lamenting over the control that the Internet and technology has over the world. If the rest of the album can be described as a huge party during the last night on Earth, then this song is like the sobering yet harrowing moment of clarity one gets as they come to terms with the reality of the apocalypse and the futility of the life it will destroy.
- "Friday 13th" is a subdued and offbeat number from the perspective of a weary, yet existential drug addict, whose disjointed, only barely-coherent thoughts show him rallying between hopelessness and hope regarding the state of the world. With the gentle, psychedelic instrumental, Octavian's tired, almost ragged voice, and 2D's gentle yet euphoric closing words of "Oh, it's a beautiful day", it's a song that's very easy to get lost in.
- "PAC-MAN" seems to be from the perspective of someone struggling with depression or some other mental illness, feeling lost and abandoned as they feel they cannot get out of "the maze" themselves, but are denied help from other people when they ask for it. The people around them instead give up before trying and excuse themselves by claiming the person is pretending for the sake of attention, dwelling on things too much or having too high standards of the world around it. The POV (who might actually be 2D himself), laments this; explaining it would really be enough to just take their hand and pull them along, for them to just have someone to anchor themself to and keep them from getting lost. But in the direction things are going, the only way out of their circle of bad habits and pointless efforts that the person will find is to give-up and "lose the game".
- The band breaking up prior to Demon Days as described in Rise of the Ogre. The whole thing was caused by Murdoc trying to strangle 2D to death for a single inane comment, then storming out like a petulant child after Russel clobbered him, refusing to acknowledge what he'd done. It's even worse when you remember that bands in real life have broken up over similar creative differences, if not worse.
The door slammed behind him. And with that final kiss-off, Murdoc checked out of the hotel, checked out of the rented house and checked out of the band.
- Harsher in Hindsight: A creative spat between Damon and Jamie caused Gorillaz to go on hiatus for years.
- One might have had trouble sleeping upon learning that Noodle was thought to have been in Hell.
- It was later said that Murdoc was drunk at the time suggested that she was, throwing the answer to the question of what happened to Noodle over a number of years into doubt. Whatever happened, however, Noodle had to wear a mask because of something that happened and which resulted in a scar possibly El Mañana or possibly something else. In and of itself, that's a really upsetting moment because of the reality of how much she suffered.
- The news that Noodle had apparently died after "El Mañana" can shock one to no end, especially how she was apparently replaced by a freaking robot! And if you've visited the "Plastic Beach website, in a closet filled with weapons, we see what looks like Noodle, only there are tubes coming out of her! And on the same site, we can find poor 2D, whose normally dark eyes are completely white, and he's trembling in fear of the giant whale outside his room. Just seeing him in that state can make you want to give him a hug...
- It might be hard to decide between cringing and crying when listening to the iTunes session interviews. That pathetic sound 2D makes when Murdoc strikes him can tug one's heartstrings, and the chloroform scene is just too brutal. The worst part, though, is when he says he just wants to go home. You can't help but want to hug the poor guy... And maybe beat the crap out of Murdoc.
- YMMV on how upsetting the chloroform in the iTunes interview is, but when it happens again on Pirate Radio 4 it's pretty horrible, especially as before that 2D was yelling for help. This was the first time many fans genuinely disliked Murdoc, because most of the time the awful things he does is put across in a way that makes it hilarious so he's still likeable; this just made him look like a messed up, abusive bastard with no redeeming traits.
- While discussing the music video of On Melancholy Hill, 2D comments that he only joined the band to make music, and that the trauma he was forced to go through just to shoot the video makes him want to die. The worst part about this is that he's being dead serious about it.
- And for the hardcore 2D fans, his Plastic Beach ident could certainly count.
- The animatics for "On Melancholy Hill" feature a sad-looking manatee. The Boogieman tries to take this manatee towards the end. Murdoc tries to save the manatee by shooting the Boogieman, but it goes harmlessly through his cape and he successfully abducts the poor thing. Even Murdoc looks pretty horrified.
- As if that weren't bad enough, in the actual video, the manatee is even more desolate-looking, with bits of trash all over it, and there's something in the way that it just sort of flops around as the Boogieman takes it that's just absolutely horribly pitiful.
- Also, remember those harmless and apparently sentient Superfast Jellyfish? They're apparently regularly being frozen, boxed up, microwaved, and eaten.
- Possible allegory for those cute critters dying out across the world?
- Which makes the song "Superfast Jellyfish" terrifying.
"All mixed in the pot for momma's homemade from scratch, but not quite, toasted over flames, they be tasting quite right." *shudder*
- One can't help but feel really bad for what happens to that poor cop in the "Stylo" music video — especially when he was desperately crawling along the ground after his doughnuts. And the fact that we don't really know what exactly the Boogieman did with him doesn't really help things.
- A blog on the Gorillaz website pretty much stated that SMS is actually a demon, and Murdoc claimed that part of his deal was to grant the Boogieman access to the "souls of innocent kids and stuff"..
- One of the inserts for the Experience Edition of Plastic Beach shows Noodle with a black eye looking sadly at the viewer. You'd have to be heartless to see that and not want to give her a hug.
- Murdoc said in the promotional radio show for Gorillaz's Singles Collection that the last he'd seen of 2D was when a whale bit a chunk out of the island, including 2D's room, which he was in at the time. 2D MIGHT BE DEAD.
- Also, Murdoc said in the interview that Real Noodle destroyed Cyborg, which is pretty sad.
- With Cyborg and Plastic Beach destroyed, 2D possibly dead, Murdoc escaping to his new home in Hawaii and Russell and Noodle still apart from the others, there's a horrible feeling that it's not just the end of Plastic Beach, but the end of the actual band, too.
- Fortunately, the above two have been retconned
- In DoYaThing, 2D is reading a newspaper comic about him and Murdoc being friends. When the real Murdoc walks in, angrily panting from having to walk downstairs from his busted railing-chair, 2D smiles up at him hopefully. The response? Murdoc whacks him with a sneaker. 2D just looks so sad and depressed afterwards.
- In the storyboard 2D's smiling hopefully at him; in the video, he's nervously grinning and shaking his head as Murdoc holds up a shoe. YMMV on which is worse, but the appearance that Murdoc did it for absolutely no reason and the way 2D flinches as he shuts the door is definitely upsetting. Fortunately, the ending of the video does indicate that maybe things are going to turn out all right for him after all.
- The entirety of Murdoc's 4th Pirate Radio broadcast is very depressing. Everything from the music played to Murdoc's commentary gives of a feeling of extreme loneliness, isolation, and insanity. It is one of the few times that you feel bad for Murdoc.
- The saddest part of the broadcast is 2D, who at this point has been held captive and forced to make music for months. The way he talks sounds completely hopeless and apathetic until Murdoc slaps him, after which he stays very quiet. At the end of the broadcast he starts desperately shouting into the microphone for help after which Murdoc chloroforms him. Murdoc, you bastard.
- If you're willing to believe the theory behind "Souk Eye," then it's about 2-D feeling conflicted about missing his abuser.
- The music video for 'Désolé' features the band enjoying a boat ride on Lake Como...except for Murdoc, who just misses 2D leaving for said ride. Murdoc is shown roaming Kong 2.0 throughout the video, realizing he's been left behind before eventually breaking down into tears and laying dejected on a couch. By the end, he's slunk back inside a music equipment box with none of his bandmates seemingly noticing his absence. Being the first time Murdoc's ever been shown openly tearful, it's a surprising reminder that for as much of a terrible person as he is, Murdoc really does care about what his band thinks of him.
- The accompanying 'Machine Bitez' snippet implies that Murdoc's still bitter over the whole thing, and while the rest of the band know he's upset, they seem to find humor in poking fun at him over it. There's something sad about the fact that even when he's showing genuine feelings toward his bandmates, something he's made a point to dodge in the past, they're so used to his antics that they can't take his real distress seriously.
- The music video for "Aries," which seems initially like a heartwarming motorcycle ride with Murdoc and 2-D actually getting along and bonding for once... until Murdoc takes out a syringe full of truth serum and prepares to inject 2-D with it. It's so rare to actually have a nice, peaceful moment between the two, and rewatching it with full knowledge that Murdoc is going to ruin it at the end is very saddening.
- It's even more depressing because the motorcycle ride was an attempt by 2-D to make up for leaving behind Murdoc during the "Désolé" music video. He wanted to do something nice for Murdoc because he knew that he upset him (and you can tell that he did it without alerting the other band members judging by their panicked reactions when they realize that the two are gone, likely because he figured they wouldn't approve), and this is how he gets repaid for it...
- The music video for 'Friday 13th' picks up where the 'Aries' video left off. It features disheveled close-ups of the band bruised, cut-up and exhausted. Russel and Noodle in particular look absolutely pissed off, while 2D and Murdoc are seemingly shocked. It's clear that something has happened as a consequence of Murdoc drugging 2D, and the fallout's cast a moody cloud over the entire group. No wonder everyone's so tense in the 'PAC-MAN' video.
- The music video for 'PAC-MAN' has 2D, smiling while playing said game, getting increasingly distressed in the chorus; his hands shaking and face visibly falling each time he chants the re-assurement (or self-directed denial) "no stressing out". It's also the first time we see 2D with proper eyes (albeit with the pupils looking like a pac-man), and they make him seem even more helpless.
- The no stressing out chant devolves into a Madness Mantra in the second chorus alongside his pupils, now looking like ghost-versions of the other band-members, rolling into his skull one after the other like the slots of a casino machine; reinforcing that he is about to fall into a Freak Out.
- Even more poignant is that the pac-man suddenly becoming the hunter is seemingly meant to represent 2D, in his own mind, "turning the tables on his friends". Murdoc's symbol is always the one that's closest behind 2D, and the first one to be devoured, while Russel's and Noodle's are either far off or around the corners; but following that 2D starts moving on to the other band-members. Each time he does they suddenly stop what they are doing and look up towards his room with a disturbed expression. Murdoc actually looks terrified for a moment and moves back into his coffin as if hiding. It has really bad implications in general.
- The video for "The Lost Chord" has the band explore the abandoned Plastic Beach, which clearly brings up some uncomfortable memories. Noodle is visibly affected when she finds the mask she wore throughout Phase 3, and Murdoc outright starts crying when they find the submarine with Cyborg Noodle still inside (notably, Noodle is also visibly taken aback by this). It reaches its peak when, after the giant sea monster blows up the island with its Eye Beams, the band climbs to the top of the sinking lighthouse and manage to jump back through the portal they came from...but not before it briefly closes before Murdoc can jump in, causing him to nearly have a panic attack over being left alone. Thankfully, 2-D comes back to save him.
- The demise of Plastic Beach itself can bring a tear to a longtime fan's eye. Despite being a symbol of environmental corruption and Murdoc's monstrous arrogance, it's persisted as one of the of the band's most iconic locations and ideas, period, and beloved to the point of being a character in and of itself (one which due to outside forces was never given proper closure for a decade). The band has long evolved past it, but its sinking into the ocean for good is a sobering image.