This is the music video to the song Utopia, by the group Goldfrapp. It is from their album Felt Mountain, which was released in 2000.
I was introduced to Goldfrapp’s music by a friend who I lived with in student accommodation in my first year at Warwick University. She was very influential in how my breakdown occurred.
This song and the two Goldfrapp albums that were out back then in 2004 (they currently have made seven albums) were amongst the songs that I consider the anthems to the nervous breakdown I suffered in my second year.
Utopia is a weird song and I believe it subliminally works on people, to be an “ear worm”. For me the line that was an ear-worm was “fascist baby, utopia” – which got stuck in my head as “fresh as baked beans, utopia”.
How does it do this? I think in the following ways:
The lyric “No sounds in my head” goes into your consciousness as “No sounds in my head” which makes it get stuck in your head. There is then the lyric “Like me, again and again”. I believe “like me” serves to create a personal attachment to the singer, Allison Goldfrapp. And “again and again” influences the listener to repeatedly play this track, without being aware of it. I believe all these factors explain how for a while I became obsessed with this song.
But all that aside, what of its content?
I believe that once it has burrowed its way into your mind this song serves to make the listener believe in higher powers and to feel connected to the world. I believe the lyric “I’m wired to the world” does this, and also it sounds like “I’m weird to the world”. It then introduces the idea of a higher power – “I’m a Super-Brain, that’s how they made me”. Initially, the egotistically minded listener will identify as a Super-Brain but eventually they will see the influence of the Super-Brain in their environment by being “wired to the world”. They will then implicitly believe the world is controlled by a higher power, even if they are unaware of this. They may attribute certain things to “The Illuminati” or The Intelligence Services when really they have become more open to seeing the influence of a higher power – i.e. The Simulation.
There is then the lyric “Fascist baby, Utopia”. I don’t know about other people, but this line really influenced me. When I was at school, before my nervous breakdown and before I went to university I fancied myself as communist dictator of the Earth. I was a loner. All The other students at college had friends and a social life – whereas I had my fantasies of being president of a federal Europe. I was never racist, and fascist is probably a bit strong, but I certainly was fascistic. Basically I believe that Utopia served to make me concerned about making the world a better place – a Utopia. As opposed to wanting to accumulate power!
Before I came into contact with Utopia I saw politics as the study and practice of accumulating power. Afterwards, I saw it as a means to making a better world. It changed how I approached politics and public life.
There’s also the issue of the album cover too:
Look at the middle of the image, where the hair of Alison Goldfrapp on the left joins with the hair of Alison Goldfrapp on the right. There’s clearly a face there! A demonic face! It has a gaping mouth, a moustache, a small nose, slant eyes, ears, and horns!
But finally, there is one further thing going on with this song. The running length. On Felt Mountain the track Utopia is four minutes and eighteen seconds long. This looks like 4:18.
Look at Luke 4:18, from the New Testament:
The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
This is Jesus quoting from the book of Isiah, which Christians believe predicts the coming of Jesus.
If this is not about creating a Utopia then I don’t know what is! Perhaps “Utopia” refers to “the kingdom of Heaven”??? – as in “thy kingdom come”???
There is a lot going on with this song, and there is probably much I have not considered in this article. But go and listen to it, and you’ll get weird vibes coming from it. And the entire album it’s on is haunting and quite trippy too.