Gorillaz - The Now Now

by paul_guyet Rating:9 Release Date:2018-06-29
Gorillaz - The Now Now
Gorillaz - The Now Now

Damon Albarn has crafted a near-perfect summer record. Practically every track on The Now Now coruscates with warm, summer sunlight or pale, blue moonlight, and after the apocalyptic house party of Humanz that is a welcome change. Seriously, listen to “Sex Murder Party” from Humanz then “Humility”, the opener here, and you’ll understand everything about the tonal difference between the two. While Humanz was choked with guests (Albarn says he got caught up in collaboration and “forgot to put himself in it”), this thing is pure Gorillaz but for two tracks, which allows Albarn to fully explore every aspect of 2D’s special brand of vocal melancholy.

“Humility” sets the stage with its vibe and opening line- “I’m calling the world from isolation”. This track is exactly what the music video portrays: sun-bleached shenanigans. “Idaho” is delightful, a legit lullaby (if you ignore some lyrics), "Lake Zurich" is a nocturnal, open air roller disco (yes, there are hot pants), and “Tranz” is dark and smoky like an 80’s club. Sadly, on “Sorcererz" 2D sounds like a cross between Adam Sandler doing a silly voice and a spidery, powder dry old man that smells like dead flowers. Doesn’t really work for me, but it’s one of only a few that don’t.

Now…could some of these tracks have been instrumental leftovers from the Humanz recording sessions over which Albarn decided to improv lyrics?* Maybe. But. Shut up. It doesn’t matter. Why? BECAUSE THERE ARE NO SONGS HERE CALLED FUCKING “SEX MURDER PARTY”. The darkest track is called “Fire Flies”, and it’s the kind of dark that’s filled with tiny, flying creatures with glowing bottoms. IT IS MAGICAL.
If Humanz left you a bit down…or suicidal...then The Now Now is your antidote, your vacation; they are as far apart from each other as Grozny is from Monaco. There might be less pathos to sink your teeth into and wring your hands over on The Now Now, but there is a lot more accessibility and fun.

* Or, in the case of “Kansas” and “Idaho”, from The Fall sessions?

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