The Now Now
Gorillaz - The Now Now
Critic Score
Based on 27 reviews
2018 Ratings: #261 / 404
User Score
Based on 275 ratings
2018 Ratings: #258
June 29, 2018 / Release Date
LP / Format
Parlophone / Label
Electropop / Genres
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CRITIC REVIEWS

85
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.
82
Sputnikmusic

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

80
NME

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.

80
DIY

‘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.

80
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.

80
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.

80
Exclaim!

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.

80
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.

80
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.

78
Paste

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.

75
A.V. Club

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

70
musicOMH

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.

70
PopMatters

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.

70
AllMusic

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

70
Clash

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.

70
Crack Magazine

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

70
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.

68
Pitchfork

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.

65
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.

60
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.

60
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?

60
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.

60
The Telegraph

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

60
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.

60
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.

50
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.

50
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.

Jun 30, 2018
wacochran
81
I understand that some might be disappointed that this isn't as ambitious or wild as Gorillaz usually are, but despite that lack of lore significance, I thoroughly enjoyed The Now Now. After the over-indulgence that arguably ended up being the downfall of Humanz (though I'm not afraid to admit that I enjoyed that one too), the comparative minimalism and focus of this album is a refreshing turn. If you went into The Now Now expecting the immediate catchiness of songs like Feel Good Inc., ... read more
Jun 29, 2018*
charlie17
72
TRACK-BY-TRACK:
(1=exceptionally bad, 2=below average, 3=middle the road 4=above average 5=exceptionally good)
Humility: very nice and breezy. Not to much to write home about, just overall pleasant(3/5)
Tranz: Modern take on You Spin Me Right Round goes surprisingly well(4/5)
Hollywood: Decent snoop dogg feature can't save the boring instrumental(2/5)
Kansas: Smooth and sensual. A solid balad.(4/5)
Sorcererz: The vocal melody on this song is solid gold. Definitely a grower for me. (5/5)
Idaho: ... read more
Jun 23, 2018*
nstarr
78
Not every artists can make a perfect album everytime. Gorillaz is a great example of it. This is levels far from Plastic Beach or Demon Days, but it's still a very sweet and cute album. (ALSO ITS BETTER THAN HUMANZ!!!)

Favorite Tracks:

Kansas (Sweet track)
Idaho (Really calming)
Souk Eye (really love the latin influence)
Fire Flies (FUCKING PRETTY)
Magic City (Fun track)

Least favorite:
Tranz (has nothing special, really boring)
Jul 4, 2018
JoaoSantos
55
This album doesn't take any risks. It's neither that good or that bad. It's really boring sometimes but there are some nice moments on here. Despite being really cohesive it adds nothing to thr Gorillaz discography.

Favorite Tracks: Humility, Tranz, Sorcererz, Fire Flies, Souk Eye

Least Favorite Tracks: Kansas, Idaho, Lake Zurich (in the context of the album it just feels like it's there for no reason)
Jul 1, 2018
joshmq71
52
Unfortunately, Damon Albarn’s musical U-turn away from the stuffed and overblown Humanz has resulted in the flattest album of his career. As much as Humanz was a bloated release, it at least had its fantastic moments; The Now Now never manages to reach any kind of high-point. This is mainly due to the homogeny of the album’s sound; each track relies on shiny synths, subtle electronic percussion and the occasional shot of live intsrumentation. This cripples the album’s ability ... read more
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Track List
  1. Humility (feat. George Benson)
  2. Tranz
  3. Hollywood (feat. Snoop Dogg & Jamie Principle)
  4. Kansas
  5. Sorcererz
  6. Idaho
  7. Lake Zurich
  8. Magic City
  9. Fire Flies
  10. One Percent
  11. Souk Eye


Added on: May 26, 2018