Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Gorillaz - "Dare"

See, Damon Albarn's got the right idea. He knows just as well as I do that the conventional "rock band" is dead. Including...his own. So what better way to subvert the tired old formulas than to create a cartoon band? There's no possible way you can take a cartoon band seriously. Which is a nice change of pace considering the endless parade of new "World's Greatest Guitar Band" pretenders that keep cropping up (or as Zrbo calls them, "the The bands"). Gorillaz is a side project that is more rewarding than most of today's main projects - and they're not even trying!

I really do get the feeling that Damon Albarn just sits around in the studio and invites whomever the hell he feels like inviting onto Gorillaz albums. The great thing about Gorillaz is that it's not even an actual band, so what is a "guest spot" in a fake band anyway? In the case of "Dare," the legendary guest is former Happy Mondays frontman Shaun Ryder, a man who, like Mark E. Smith of The Fall before him, has managed to become incredibly famous without seeming to possess, as far as I can tell, any discernible musical talent. It's been rumored that the song was actually supposed to be called "There," but the way it came out in Ryder's impenetrable Mancunian accent, it sounded like "Dare," so they just decided to call it "Dare." But when the synthesizer riff is that ingratiating, who cares what they call it?

We can thank Danger Mouse (of Gnarls Barkley and The Grey Album fame) for the electro-pop magic. As with "American Boy," "Dare" sounds like a song that I've heard before, and yet I don't believe that I actually have. Maybe it's the World's Great Long Lost Madonna B-side. Like many a dance-pop classic, the track does not appear to make a whit of sense :
You've got to press it on you
You just think it
That's what you do, baby
Hold it down, dare

Jump with them all and move it
Jump back and forth
And feel like you were there yourself
Work it out
What is this, an aerobics video? Who cares. It's catchy!

Note: Half of Gorillaz' claim to fame is their videos, and while I do enjoy the clip for "Dare," would I consider it a "YouTube Clip That Lives Up To My Expectations"? Probably not. When you tout your videos as some sort of extra special deal, I have to say I expect more than an anorexic Japanese ape gyrating around Shaun Ryder's big fat robotic head.


Herr Zrbo said...

That's an interesting bit about the There/Dare mixup. It sounds like he should be saying "There" as that makes a few of the lines grammatically correct (though still indecipherable). Good pick.

Little Earl said...

Thank you...but are you suggesting something about my other picks?