About 2 weeks ago The Gorillaz put out a new record, "The Now Now". I had heard rumors that they were going to put out one, and by they I obviously mean Damon Albarn and his collaborator, but I didn't know when it was exactly coming out. I then saw on Facebook or some other site that they were putting it out on June 29th. And, like they promised, it was released then.
I have been listening to "The Now Now" pretty much every day since I bought it. I find at least one time a day, be it a car ride, a run or shooting baskets, to listen to the record. I love it. I was a big time fan of their last record, "Humanz", but, dare I say, I like "The Now Now" even more. It feels a bit more accessible to all fans. There were parts of "Humanz" and "Demon Days" and even their first record that seemed odd or out of place. I personally love all three of those records, especially "Demon Days", which I think is one of their most underrated records. But, "The Now Now" is better than all three. In fact, it, for the time being, it is my favorite record of theirs to date. I love the simplicity of this new record. I read an interview with Albarn where he said that he wrote most of it while on tour last year. Last year was one of their first fully American tours, and by all accounts, it was a big time success. But, in the down time that they had, Albarn decided he was going to write a new record. What I appreciate most about "The Now Now" is how mellow and simple it is. Also, even though I love all the guest appearance they usually have, and sometimes the guests make the record or song, I was pleasantly surprised that they only have 3 songs with guests on the record. It was a nice change of pace to hear Albarn as the characters in the band singing most of the songs. I love his voice, so of course I was going to be on board with this decision.
In fact, one of the songs that features a guest, the first track, which is amazing, "Humility", doesn't include the guest vocals. I believe George Benson is on the song for his guitar alone. By the way, "Humility" is a great way to start this record off. The song is bouncy and fun. It has an upbeat guitar riff and Albarn's vocals are top notch. They released a video for this song prior to the record coming out as well, and I highly suggest checking it out. It is so cool and exactly what you would expect out of a Gorillaz video. It is dope. The next track, "Tranz" is another upbeat, fast paced tune. I really enjoy this song as well. It goes a little harder than "Humanity", which is more like a beach song. "Tranz" is more of a club track, or just a straight forward electronic song with vocals. It is pretty awesome. Some other tracks on the record I really enjoy are "Kansas", "Idaho", "Sorcererz", "Lake Zurich" and "Magic City". "Kansas" is a slower tune, made all the better with Albarn almost crooning the lyrics. He clearly wrote this track while in Kansas, and listening to this song makes so much sense when you see it through that lens. "Idaho", another state name song, is another slow song, but it is more of an instrumental, electronic song. I know that may sound oxymoronic, but it is the truth. It actually reminds me of a Ratatat song, and I love that about it. I love Ratatat as you all know. "Sorcerez" goes hard and strong. It is a rock song mixed with electronic elements. It really sounds like a song off their first record, and that makes it so accessible to old school fans. It is a great follow up to "Kansas". "Lake Zurich" is another song that is more instrumental than anything else. I remember the first time listening to it, I was watering my plants and I just, without even knowing, found myself dancing and grooving along with the music. My neighbor almost snapped me out of my trance by asking what I was listening to. I let him check it out, he is an older gentleman, and even he enjoyed the song. It is so cool and so groovy. I love "Lake Zurich". And "Magic City" is like a culmination of everything that makes this album so wonderful. It has the great instrumental electronic stuff, but it also has great vocals and it is just a perfect song. It rules.
I adore this record. I know that I will be listening to it for the next couple weeks, no question. I highly suggest everyone go check out this record, even if you are not a Gorillaz fan. I truly feel like everyone that listens to this record will like it. It has a little something for everyone. Well done Mr. Albarn, as usual.
Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. His pop culture the last few weeks has been all about animation. Today he had the Gorillaz, last week he had The Incredibles.
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