Meaning of “Feel Good Inc.” by Gorillaz

Written By Michael Miller

Michael is a music teacher and professional cellist. He loves uncovering the deeper meaning of popular songs.

“Feel Good Inc.” is a commentary on modern society and the facade of happiness many present. With hints about city life’s superficiality, the battle between freedom and confinement, and the overwhelming desire to break free and find genuine joy, Gorillaz sheds light on the paradox of our “feel good” culture. This isn’t just a dance track, but an exploration into the shallowness of modern life and a call to find genuine contentment.

Keep reading for a lyric-by-lyric breakdown of this iconic song.

“Feel Good Inc.” Lyrics Meaning

“City’s breaking down on a camel’s back…”

The city represents society at large, crumbling under its own weight. The “camel’s back” imagery speaks to the proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back, suggesting society is nearing a breaking point.

“…You got a new horizon, it’s ephemeral style…”

This line alludes to ever-changing trends, hinting that chasing after the latest fashion or style offers only fleeting happiness.

“And all I wanna hear is the message beep…”

A possible nod to technology and the constant need for validation through messages or social media notifications, indicating a dependency on digital affirmation.

“Windmill, windmill for the land…”

Windmills symbolize change and progress. But is all progress good? Here, it’s a call to recognize that while some things advance, others deteriorate.

“Laughin’ gas these hazmats, fast cats…”

This part speaks to distractions. Society is filled with hazards (hazmats), and the “laughing gas” might represent superficial joys that keep us numb, preventing us from seeing the underlying issues.

“…Yo, we gon’ ghost town this Motown…”

A reference to the decline of places that were once thriving. Motown, an iconic record label, stands as a symbol for decay amidst progress.

“…With yo’ sound, you kill the Inc…”

This could be a dig at the music industry (the Inc.) and how genuine, impactful sounds or voices are often silenced by the mainstream.

“Steady, watch me navigate…”

Despite the chaos, there’s an underlying tone of confidence. It’s about maneuvering through the superficiality and finding one’s authentic self.

Why Was “Feel Good Inc.” Written?

Gorillaz has always been known for weaving social commentary into their music. At the time “Feel Good Inc.” was penned, there was a noticeable shift in pop culture where everything seemed to revolve around presenting a perfect image. But perfection is often just a facade. The desire to highlight the dissonance between appearance and reality, combined with the band’s knack for commenting on societal issues, birthed this track. It’s a reminder to look beyond the surface and recognize the hollowness of the modern “feel good” ethos. Moreover, it’s a call for authenticity in a world that sometimes seems to have forgotten what that truly means.