Gorillaz * June 29th, 2018 * Parlaphone and Warner Brothers
When Gorillaz, everyone’s favorite animated Brit alternative rock/pop/electronic hip-hop band, released Humanz in 2017 I fell back into my preteen obsession. I mean, full speed ahead, non-stop listening, buying ALL of their albums on vinyl (yes, I did get that red Demon Days pressing. No, I don’t have The Fall… Yet), immediately buying tickets to the closest concert obsession. Happy to report that I’m still riding that train, even happier to repot they dropped another album! Only a year later!
The Now Now really came out of nowhere. They weren’t even done touring for Humans when they released teasers and the first track, Humility. The two albums are even tied together in terms of the lore of the band, with band founder Murdoc Niccals being arrested following the events of the video for the Humans song Strobelight. With lead singer 2D in the lead and Ace D Copular (yes, Ace from The Powerpuff Girls… it’s a long story) as temporary bassist, The Now Now was released roughly a year after Humanz.
Overall, the album has a very chill feel to it. It’s much shorter than previous albums, and has far fewer collaborations that pretty much every album except the self-titled debut album. The Now Now is like a throw back to the band’s original sound while showcasing the way they’ve evolved over the two decades (!) that the band has been active — although Ace’s bass playing is pointedly different than Murdoc’s. I’ve seen a lot of people say it feels like a very transitional album, and I think can agree with that observation. Lore-wise, 2D has creative control while Murdoc is locked up and he’s really letting his style show through.
If I had to pick a stand out track, well, I would pick two: Humility and Souk Eye. Humility has been, hands down, my Summer 2018 #bop. Gorillaz collaborated with George “Give Me the Night” Benson and it’s like they saw me cruising down Bayshore in Tampa with my windows down and my music blasting and decided to make that feeling into a song. Souk Eye is the exact opposite. Moody, but still very cruise worthy if you’re doing the kind of cruising that happens after you’ve broken up with someone. It’s the one song on the album that I find myself singing for hours after I hear it.
- Humility (Ft George Benson) – I love this song – Perfect summer bop
- Tranz – The dance club hit; the music video is INSANE
- Hollywood (Ft Snoop Dogg and Jamie Principle) : It’s got Snoop Dogg on it
- Kansas – Great bassline and a catchy tune
- Sorcererz – Sounds almost like I Just Can’t Wait to be King when hummed
- Idaho – Honestly, the only song on the album I don’t care for; it’s a little slow
- Lake Zurich – Gives me strong self-titled vibes since it’s mostly instrumental
- Magic City – I enjoy this song
- Fire Flies – Another amazing bassline – it’s pure magic
- One Percent – This one feels like a long outro and transition into Souk Eye
- Souk Eye – I also love; it get’s me all in my feels (I also think it’s about Murdoc)
Overall, I am really into The Now Now. It is definitely an album to hold fans over until the next big album comes out and with the announced hiatus… who knows how long that will be. We just got back from seeing them in LA, so keep an eye out for my post on our trip to see Gorillaz, Erykah Badu, and a handful of other artists at the Demon Dayz Festival!