The Now Now

Gorillaz - The Now Now
Critic Score
Based on 28 reviews
2018 Ratings: #458 / 671
User Score
Based on 456 ratings
2018 Ratings: #548
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
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
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 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
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.

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.

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
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
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
AllMusic

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

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
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
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
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
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 Telegraph

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

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.

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.

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.

50
Highsnobiety

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.

charlie17
61
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
exception
NR
Everything after Plastic Beach should never have been made.
60
Best Tracks - KANSAS, LAKE ZURICH, MAGIC CITY, FIRE FLIES, SOUK EYE

Worst Tracks - HOLLYWOOD
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)
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)
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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
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Added on: May 26, 2018