a quick turnaround in Gorillaz time, next album is 2018’s The Now Now:

first up, its Humility (Feat. George Benson). i still really like this track’s chill dance grooves, moving between surfy and funky jams, this one’s great and the more time i spend with it the happier i am that the music video is at Venice Beach, haha. i will say “calling the world from isolation” hits v differently in 2022 than it did in 2018. Tranz is a good follow up to Humility, and i think its a real good groove. this is a track i could def see growing on me for sure. Jamie Principle and Snoop Dogg both return for Hollywood, which features some dark synths on a surprisingly catchy beat. i think both featured verses work well, and 2-D vocals here work well on the chorus (even if i definitely misheard like half of it). Kansas is nice – definitely a good rest after a very high energy and busy opening suite of tracks. Sorcererz has some great synths, and some fun vocal distortion work mixed in there, but ends up just a lil repetitive vocally for me. Idaho (lotta place names on this one), continues the mellower string of tracks. i like this one as kind of a step away, thematically and musically. Lake Zurich is a really nice instrumental groove, with only some dialogue overlayed, buried in the mix. Magic City kinda coasts until it hits the breakdown. i actually find the keyboard lines in One Percent really compelling – i’ll have to see if this is another track that grows on me after some time away from the record. little bit of tropical vibes hanging out on Souk Eye to close us out. love how the synths on this one just rise up somewhat menacingly out of the middle of this track, its a neat effect. ironically, Souk Eye -> Humility might be my fave transition in the record.

faves – Humility, Hollywood, Lake Zurich, Souk Eye
dislikes –

i think this album is a much better way of overtly synthesizing (heh) their vibes with their electronic influences than The Fall and Humanz were, tbh. i know its something they’ve always been toying with but it felt like they got lost in the weeds there for a second, in different ways. (which, an aside, this record might be an attempt at the Fall pt 2 – it seems to have a heavy emphasis on the places visited for tour, and on the unexpected isolation of the touring and entertaining life, but is thankfully more developed and produced than The Fall). Fireflies develops really nicely over its runtime but overall just kinda washes over me.

that being said, while the grooves are nice and there are some really bright moments lyrically and vocally, this record failed to capture my attention in the way that some of their prior records did. i appreciated the restraint in guest appearances – this record felt a lot more like a return to character in places that felt very absent on Humanz. a lotta this record playing with alienation and isolation work a lot better when there’s fewer famous friends dropping in.

on the whole, a very pleasant listen with some bigger hits for sure, but not close to the top of their discog for me.

The Now Now – 6/10

next up we’re gonna be wrapping up the Gorillaz discography, at time of writing, so stay tuned!

the first: Gorillaz | previous: Humanz | next: Song Machine: Volume One – Strange Timez

all my reviews for Gorillaz