The Now Now

Gorillaz - The Now Now
Critic Score
Based on 38 reviews
2018 Ratings: #605 / 851
User Score
2018 Ratings: #616
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Northern Transmissions
Using simple melodies with more sophisticated sounds, this record is more personal while leaving a bit of the single-power of previous Gorillaz records behind.

At 20 minutes shorter than your average Gorillaz project The Now Now feels shockingly complete.

The Line of Best Fit

The lack of genre hopping (sticking mostly to electronic and pop) and guest stars, and the move away from tackling the issues of the day in favour of something more personal, makes The Now Now their most straightforward record, but it's no less interesting for that.


Where ‘Humanz’ leaned too heavily on swampy, generic hip-hop beats, ‘The Now Now’ prides itself on making 11 pop tracks that zip with energy, passion and an abundance of ideas.


‘The Now Now’ is a more spaced-out affair, stripped of its star-studded collaborations and bathed in the apparent apathy of the modern age.

The Skinny

Gorillaz's latest album The Now Now celebrates the interpenetration of alternate realities and our mundane. It’s a reminder that realities, real or otherwise, are shared.

Rolling Stone

While The Now Now works as a piece, it does lack the sparks that come from the usual Gorillaz mess of ideas and personalities.

The Guardian

The Now Now is capable of beguiling despite the babble – a Gorillaz album that, for once, acts not as loudspeaker for the cacophony of modern life, but a salve instead.


All in all, The Now Now feels fresh and present. Gorillaz have performed a type of sonic reset by stripping back their cast of collaborators, yet it exemplifies the strength of the songwriting at the group's core.


In contrast to the lightness of the music—a sleek funk that feels like what songwriters and tech geeks from the ‘80s imagined the future would sound like—the lyrics are paranoid and despairing, sorrowful and confused.

A.V. Club

Overall, The Now Now would work better if it fully embraced its melancholy.


It’s quite easy to lose sight of the fact that ‘The Now Now’ was rushed out, recorded in February in time for festival season, as it sounds typically expansive and self-assured.


The album flows well, with a funky instrumental interlude picking up the pace nicely around the middle and its relatively short run time making it a light and breezy experience.


What was once a rowdy, colorful party is now a soundtrack for bittersweet solitude.

Crack Magazine

The Now Now is irresistibly chilled and the perfect palate cleanser a year on from Humanz‘s end-of-days disarray.


If you didn't like last year's Humanz for its glut of guests and lack of emphasis on Albarn's sandy, pinched warble, this is as close to a one-on-one experience with the erstwhile Blur singer as you're ever going to get.

Spectrum Culture

At the end of the day, The Now Now isn’t as exciting as the band’s albums usually are, but it’s the best kind of album Gorillaz could give us: an antidote to the landscapes being sung about.


The allure of isolation defines Damon Albarn’s latest project. With only a few guests on the album, he writes simple, mostly upbeat songs with words of exhaustion.

Under The Radar

Even if The Now Now comes across as a solo effort from Albarn, it is still a far improvement on the bloated and playlist-y nature of Humanz which masked everything that is interesting about Gorillaz in its Jumbotron collaborators. Albarn is at his most interesting when he is in the spotlight.

Drowned in Sound

It may be overly critical to complain that The Now Now is merely a collection of decent songs but Gorillaz can be so much better than that.

The Independent

Stripped of the usual number of guests, The Now Now makes for a coherent record that acts more akin to a solo 2D album than full-on Gorillaz record.

Loud and Quiet

‘The Now Now’ – a Damon Albarn solo album in all but name, and a perfectly likeable one at that – leaves that question feeling rather pertinent: if your imaginary band stop sounding like an imaginary band, what’s the point in pretending anymore?

The Telegraph

The Now Now ultimately sounds exactly what it is: music made on the road as an escape from homesickness.

The Observer

Just as 2010’s sprawling Plastic Beach had its introverted companion album The Fall, The Now Now is a breezy calm after Humanz’s storm.

The Needle Drop

The Now Now is a pleasant mood album while it's on—especially in comparison to Humanz—but it's still relatively low-impact.

Consequence of Sound

Ostensibly a solo album by the band’s virtual ringleader 2-D, it pares down the guest stars and dials up the sense of desolation one feels when reading the morning paper.

The 405

Damon Albarn unleashes some deep space funk on new Gorillaz record, however most of the tropes found within are a few years too late.


It would be one thing if Gorillaz set out to make an album of effortless funk ditties and the tunes were good, but it’s another thing entirely if the melodies don’t hold up. Without a clear statement of intent beyond ‘good times,’ The Now Now fails to justify its existence.


im done with this shit... i like this album, and im proud of it... who cares if its not their best work, or the most ambitious thing they've done. fuk it fuk u

Best: Fire Flies, Humility, Magic City, Idaho, Lake Zurich, Souk Eye

Weakest: One Percent
Everything after Plastic Beach should never have been made.
parlophone helps make this sound like the singular definition of electropop in 2018

“humility” and the second side go off. also, if there’s a formula for songs by gorillaz with short titles, it works.

why have i not listened to this album for so long? it’s amazingly smooth, and i’m ashamed not be hip until long after the album's release.

it’s as good as MGMT’s return with ‘LDA’, and it is possibly the most consistent album by gorrillaz ... read more
“The Now Now” is a breath of fresh air, of some sorts. Regardless of coming after two of their consecutively most underwhelming and pandering albums, I feel like this record blends every element of their past releases to create something very memorable! “Sorcererz” sounds like something that would be off of their debut, with its intoxicating melodies and harmonies. “Tranz” is definitely sounds like a “Demon Days” cut. “Souk Eye” can ... read more
Gorillaz take a more psychedelic and simple approach, and I'd argue that it pays off pretty well. I mean, there's nothing great on here, but there's far more good than bad. Good on you Monkeyz- I mean Gorillaz. You made something good.
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Added on: May 26, 2018