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Album Review: The Now Now, by Gorillaz

The Now Now Album Review

Parlaphone, Warner Bros. Records

Caden Serros-Stanford, Author

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As many of you may know, Gorillaz’ newest album released late last June. This album, The Now Now, featured 11 tracks with guests Snoop Dogg and Jamie Principle. A majority of the songs have a heavy use of synth, as is the norm with Gorillaz, but the quality of this use varies. A majority of the songs are more desolate in theme, with apathy and melancholy definite feelings that could be associated with the album as a whole.

The first track, “Humility,” was one of my favorites, and evidently many more people’s favorite as well considering the view count. The song has a very “summer” vibe to it, giving notions of nostalgia and lazy days. It reminds me of being out by the beach with my friends, and for this it gets a generous 9/10 from me.

The second track, “Tranz,” has a liberal use of synth without overloading on it, and the sound of the vocals fits the same niche of sound the rest of the song has. The replay value of the song is not terribly high, but on the first few listens it blew me away. Solid 7.5/10.

Now, the third song, “Hollywood.” This is the track the guests of the album starred in, and both do a decent job. The song doesn’t fit my liking quite as well as most of the songs, but the relatively standard beats and vocals, while risking becoming too uniform with other pop songs, keep it afloat. 5/10

“Kansas,” the fourth track, has a more melancholic vibe than any of the other songs, with softer vocal tones and a very “vaporwave” style of synth. The song definitely instills you with the feeling that was desired, and fulfills the theme of the album fairly well. Fairly good, with a 7/10.

The fifth track, “Sorcererz, has a slightly more upbeat tone, though it does hang on to the soft tones of vocals. As for the synth, it’s used in a mediocre manner. I wouldn’t call it bad, but the beat it has is not anything special, leading to a 6/10 from me.

“Idaho,” the sixth track, leads with the same manner of tone as “Kansas,” instilling a feeling more like apathy than melancholy. However, about halfway through the song the tone lifts slightly, lessening the almost oppressive apathy it lays down. Overall, not my favorite, but after the first half the song becomes much better, with the beat picking up and the vocals becoming less of a mumble, and for that it gets a 6.5/10.

The seventh track, “Lake Zurich,” has very little in the way of vocals, relying more on sample audio and synth to carry it. The instrumental track is a welcome break after six vocal-lead tracks, and the beat is very nice, leading to a 7/10 in its favor.

“Magic City,” the eighth track, returns to the vocal lead style, but does not carry as much of the sadder tone as the other songs on the album. The synth compliments the vocals well, and with the slightly more optimistic theme of this song certainly adds to its value in being a break from the depressing tones of the album as a whole. A good 8/10 when listening to the album as a whole, and certainly a high 7.5/10 when listened to alone.

The ninth track, “Fire Flies,” feels like more of a haze to listen to rather than any good or bad tones; the synth is slow, and the vocals are low. The vocals are certainly complimented by the synth, but on the whole the vocals are certainly the lead of the song. Overall, a 6.5/10 for being a solid track.

“One Percent,” the tenth and second to last track on the album, is an almost “empty” track. This doesn’t necessarily have a bad connotation, but it does feel apt when listening to the song. Slow, with more of a half-ground between vocal lead and synth lead, the song just doesn’t sound good or bad necessarily. I’d give it a 5.5/10 on a good day.

The final track, “Souk Eye,” certainly does a good job as an ending track. It has light-sounding music, and the vocals do not sound low or depressed, leading to it being one of the few tracks that can change your mood positively. It’s just a good track overall, and one of the better tracks on the album. High 8/10.

The album overall definitely had a set tone, and was much more negative than many other Gorillaz albums. It certainly does what it set out to accomplish in that right, but maybe in the end it slightly over-did it. However, I will say the tracks in the middle of the album lead to the tracks later in the album being much more sweet in their bitter-sweetness and forced optimism. The album was created on-tour, which certainly can account for some of the lower ranked tracks, but I believe as a whole it was a fairly good addition to the repertoire even if it did feel slightly rushed. Overall, it was refreshing to get a Gorillaz album with less of a time gap between albums, but it feels a little lacking in certain songs. Even with its faults, I would give the album as a whole a rank of 7/10, as it stands up well as an album.

About the Writer
Caden Serros-Stanford, Author

Hello, my name is Caden Serros-Stanford and I am a student at Eleanor Roosevelt High School. Of course, you probably knew that already, but it's good to...

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