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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Rhinestone Eyes by Gorillaz

I've liked the song Rhinestone Eyes by the Gorillaz ever since it came out.  When I was researching the lyrics I came across an analysis of the lyrics and to my astoundment, many people completely mis-interpret this song.  While I can't claim to have it exactly right, I think my interpretation is largely supported by the artistic context of the album and video.  My analysis of the lyrics is as follows:

“I'm a scary gargoyle on a tower
that you made with plastic power”
I interpret this this to be an icon of leadership, a stone figure scary on a tower/pedistal, put there by the power of modern industry.  Plastic has brought much power in the form of technology, industry and economy.

“Your rhinestone eyes are like factories far away”
Rhinestone represents fake value, and greed.  Also imagery of hollow expressionless eyes, distant and unfamiliar like factories.  We know they exist, but never actually see them.

“Where the paralytic dream that we all seem to keep
Drive on engines till they sleep with future pixels in factories far away”
Our dreams of wealth and success fueled by greed, consume us and we can think of nothing else to the point where we are paralyzed to do anything else except play the game, enter the rat race, and pursue them.  Those dreams drive the engine of society until they integrate with people, making them insignificant pixels. 

“So call the mainland from the beach
All parties now washed up in bleach”
Regular people who are just trying to enjoy themselves (party on the beach) on a daily basis can no longer do so because the world has become so polluted that enjoying nature has become corrosive.  We've fallen from Eden and can no longer enjoy that lifestyle.  They need to call the mainland (or support or government, to notify them) and call for help?

“The waves are rising for this time of year
And nobody knows what to do with the heat”
This is a clear reference to rising ocean levels, and the particular choice of words seems to say, “that’s strange, the water’s high” as if it happened gradually.  It has a sense of unease and uncertainty.  The heat refers to global warming and the controversies surrounding it.  Nobody knows how to solve that problem.

“Under sunshine pylons we'll meet
While rain is falling like rhinestones from the sky”
Despite the corrosive beaches, and global warming, people pretend like nothing bad is happening when in reality trouble is in front of them.  The trouble seems fake like rhinestones.  They meet under bright sunny skies and ignore the problem calling it fake, pretending things are great. 

“I can't see you now my heart is frozen
all the bowses and the growses
have been abstinated in my soul”
A frozen heart implies death, and he can no longer see because of that.  The problems were ignored until they were detrimental and the consequences have been suffered.  The “shivers” and “pulls” are no longer in him.  Life has left.  Alternatively, this could be an emotional death and a turning away from the problems signifying loss of hope.

“I prayed on the immoveable yet clinging to the atoms of rocks
seasons the adjustments signs of change”
He prayed to the heavens, but remains stuck on earth and helpless.  The seasons are adjusting due to our actions as a whole and severe change is coming to the world despite itself.

“I can't see now she said taxi
Now red light is all I can t
ake”
This continues on the death theme.  Nature (“she”) took a taxi and left.  Red light refers to the rhinestone eyes, implying that all that’s left and acceptable is the artificial plastic world, seen in the red hues of artificial desires.

“This dawn brings strange loyalties and skies”
Now that Nature has left, new alliances are formed, not necessarily desired ones.  This happens under strange skies implying an erieness to it as well as an altered climate.

I'm a scary gargoyle on a tower
that you made with plastic power
Your rhinestone eyes are like factories far away
Again, the gargoyle is an over-seer of the world, risen to power by the industrial machine.  Again, an image of hollow, lifeless eyes that work in the factories.

“Here we go again
That's electric
That's electric”
Referencing the continual pattern, and the concept of energy that drives it all. 

“Helicopters fly over the beach
Same time every day 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
Natures corrupted in factories far away”
This verse implies war and a military state resulting from the destruction/corruption of nature, and a development of the strange alliances.  A result of calling the mainland for help?  Another reference to the seasons no longer being what they were, redefined now by war (targets, noise,).  This takes a toll on the body through pollution and lifestyle as the noise of war enters the lungs.  It has become a part of daily life.  Factories continue to churn as nature continues to be destroyed.

“Here we go again
That's electric
Your loves like rhinestones falling from the sky
That's electric
We are future pixels in factories far away
Here we go again
That's electric
Your loves like rhinestones falling from the sky
That's electric
Where future pixels in factories far away
Here we go again”
Now, even love has become fake and hollow like a rhinestone, meaningless and insignificant like a pixel.
Let me know your interpretation or add any comments below.

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