Gorillaz’s Album “Plastic Beach” and the Issues of Water Pollution


After professor discussing about which projects to do, I did some research of artists who took actions to alert people of the dangers of environmental damage. A famous band, named Gorillaz, known primarily for their cartoon characters, have made some important comments in their album, Plastic Beach.

For example, a part of the song Rhinestone Eyes goes like this:

Helicopters fly over the beach
Same time everyday, same routine
Clear target in the summer when skies are blue
It’s part of the noise when winter comes
It reverberates in my lungs
Nature’s corrupted in factories far away

Same time everyday, same routine Clear target in the summer when skies are blue It’s part of the noise when winter comes It reverberates in my lungs Nature’s corrupted in factories far away

Although the band did not mention specific scientific facts and issues about environmental degradation, the idea of writing their whole album based on environmental issues, was quite exiting. Also, in their album, they have a plastic island as their album cover, and interestingly, the island is made with junk. Damon Albarn, the musical director for the band mentions this fact during the making of the album. Many of the songs contain messages about the problems of environmental damage.

In one of their music videos called Melancholy Hill, an animal, sick and nearly dead, appears. Interestingly, right after a scene which portrayed an attack scene from helicopter, the animal’s eye appear.  The juxtaposing cuts possibly show the effects of human’s corrupt nature (such as war), on the environment (portrayed by an animal in the music video).

I’ve read an article that professor Peter provided on truth-out.org. And Peter showed videos which explained the problematic acts of fracking. Fracking contaminates drinking water, and can even cause earthquakes. Because of Vice President Chaney, the Safe Water Drinking Act had included exemptions making availability for fracking. This is a serious problem, because our environment’s health is on the line, by polluting water.

According to NASA, there are only 2.5 percent of fresh water available, and only one third is stored underground, which accounts for the majority of accessible water. If we continue polluting water short term profit (such as Chaney with Halliburton loophole), then we might end up with minuscule amounts of water. Water is essential in life, and we must not simply take it as granted.

Although this album was released in 2010, I think the album possibly helps to bring out some ideas for us (students of Green World) that could help the world know more about the issues of environmental damage.

 

2 thoughts on “Gorillaz’s Album “Plastic Beach” and the Issues of Water Pollution

  1. I had never really noticed this message in the Gorillaz’s music before. I think knowing this makes their music even more interesting and really shows how artists can send a message.

  2. I have listened to the Gorillaz before, and never thought about the environmental messages in their songs so deeply- this is really interesting! It can be hard to figure out how to make art that protests something without making it so obvious or over the top that people just roll their eyes at it, and I think your analysis shows how they did a good job with it, and can inspire other artists to do the same!