Now Now - official album reviews

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Neal Zeal
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Now Now - official album reviews

Post by Neal Zeal » 15 Jun 2018, 13:55

Thought this deserved its own thread but do please merge if not.

I've seen two reviews so far.
One in Q magazine from a week or two ago (4/5).
And a new one just out in Uncut (7/10).
Any more yet?

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lumaka
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Re: Now Now - official album reviews

Post by lumaka » 25 Jun 2018, 00:17

The Sunday Times

ALBUM OF THE WEEK
GORILLAZ
The Now Now
Parlophone
After last year’s misfiring Humanz, Damon Albarn gets back into the saddle in record time, as if resolved to atone for an album that, save for one or two outbreaks of unalloyed pleasure (and limpet-like melodies), was heavy going, a chunk of its 20 tracks and interludes flirting with self-parody. The Now Now is a different beast entirely, a mere 11 songs that zip by on an evocative summer breeze, compelling us to down tools and surrender to escapism. Humility, featuring George Benson on guitar, is typical, its casual blue-eyed-soul shuffle channelling Hall & Oates and Boz Scaggs to fine effect. The Kraftwerky Tranz, though lyrically weightier, is still light on the pedal. Albarn and Snoop Dogg negotiate the song Hollywood in a narcotic haze; the lyrically barbed Idaho nails Albarn’s gift for tunes and structures that are almost hymnal in their courtliness; Magic City combines stomping bass with shimmering fairground organ, over which his croon is at its most world-weary; the ragged reggae of Sorcererz introduces falsetto toasting and gets away with it. Albarn wrote and recorded this as he finalised the second, darker album from the Good, the Bad & the Queen. He has always juggled balls, and rarely drops one. Those marked “The Now Now” remain airborne, like the Gorillaz of old: spry, arch, mournful, playful, hypnotic and cartoonish, without losing their edge. Welcome back. DC


https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/cult ... -s0qzgc6cz" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Neal Zeal
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Re: Now Now - official album reviews

Post by Neal Zeal » 25 Jun 2018, 08:34

Uh oh - just 2/5 in today's Metro.
http://www.metro.news/record-review-gor ... w/1116004/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

"Snoop Dogg reprises his similarly inconsequential cameo on 2010’s Plastic Beach by rapping over a house-y beat about nice things like ‘bad bitches I been achin’ to break.’ Best song Lake Zurich is a danceable cowbell-bashing synths’n’sequencers workout that will help enliven live shows. Like all the best bits on this unashamedly superficial record, they’re swiped past casually without ever being developed into anything that leaves a lasting impression."

Neal Zeal
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Re: Now Now - official album reviews

Post by Neal Zeal » 25 Jun 2018, 12:01

7/10 from Clash
http://clashmusic.com/reviews/gorillaz-the-now-now" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

"‘Kansas’, ‘Idaho’ and ‘Magic City’ are good examples of the strain of off-kilter fairground melancholia that Damon Albarn excels at, but they sit a little uneasily amongst the slick, mutant funk reminiscent of records like ‘Pacific’ by Hosono and co. That the ‘World’s Most Successful Virtual Band’ sounds like something you’ve probably seen on the YouTube sidebar is apt. Otherwise, it seems to be business as usual on another jubilant and solidly varied Gorillaz album."

northernmonkey
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Re: Now Now - official album reviews

Post by northernmonkey » 25 Jun 2018, 12:21

Neal Zeal wrote:Uh oh - just 2/5 in today's Metro.
http://www.metro.news/record-review-gor ... w/1116004/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
2/5?? Seriously!! :?

Neal Zeal
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Re: Now Now - official album reviews

Post by Neal Zeal » 25 Jun 2018, 14:31

3/5 in Mojo. A fairly critical review.
Guess this means it prob won't be featuring in any end-of-year-poll top 10s, or getting a Mercury nomination.
Surprised to find out that Humanz got an average review of 77% (according to Metacritic http://www.metacritic.com/music/humanz/gorillaz" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;).
Judging by today's reviews, Now Now won't do as well, critically, although there could be a brace of good reviews on their way.
Odd as it seems that, from those who've heard it round here, it's quite a bit better than Humanz.

northernmonkey
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Re: Now Now - official album reviews

Post by northernmonkey » 25 Jun 2018, 14:55

I get the impression the negative reviews or some I have read are regarding this being a more Damon album with next to no guests. I got into Gorillaz because I am an old time Blur fan and it was a means to hearing more Damon music outside of Blur, so I really appreciate an album like The Now Now, but I guess if you were not a Damon/Blur fan before Gorillaz, the guests are part of the appeal. I think TNN stands as a solid effort, with no fillers, compared to the very hit and miss Humanz.

Neal Zeal
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Re: Now Now - official album reviews

Post by Neal Zeal » 25 Jun 2018, 17:11

northernmonkey wrote:I get the impression the negative reviews or some I have read are regarding this being a more Damon album with next to no guests. I got into Gorillaz because I am an old time Blur fan and it was a means to hearing more Damon music outside of Blur, so I really appreciate an album like The Now Now, but I guess if you were not a Damon/Blur fan before Gorillaz, the guests are part of the appeal. I think TNN stands as a solid effort, with no fillers, compared to the very hit and miss Humanz.
Interesting explanation, thanks. I too am an old-time Blur fan. Couldn't really give two hoots about the whole Gorillaz concept, and not a big fan of the rapping and guest side of things - just want to hear new (and good) songs by Mr Allbran so guess I might well take a punt...

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Rubi
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Re: Now Now - official album reviews

Post by Rubi » 25 Jun 2018, 17:56

northernmonkey wrote:I get the impression the negative reviews or some I have read are regarding this being a more Damon album with next to no guests. I got into Gorillaz because I am an old time Blur fan and it was a means to hearing more Damon music outside of Blur, so I really appreciate an album like The Now Now, but I guess if you were not a Damon/Blur fan before Gorillaz, the guests are part of the appeal. I think TNN stands as a solid effort, with no fillers, compared to the very hit and miss Humanz.
I don't think that's got anything to do with it. The self-titled had only a handful of guest appearances as well, yet it was widely successful. And besides, Humanz was criticized for having way too many guests.

The album is just not as good as the self-titled, Demon Days or Plastic Beach. It's definitely better than The Fall and I think in some respect better than Humanz as well. But you can't help but feel that it was recorded during the US tour and then assembled at the last minute in London.

Great albums take time and commitment, not just a few days in hotel rooms.

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Mallard No. 22
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Re: Now Now - official album reviews

Post by Mallard No. 22 » 26 Jun 2018, 06:20

northernmonkey wrote: I guess if you were not a Damon/Blur fan before Gorillaz, the guests are part of the appeal
Yes I suspect so as well.
"Everybody's Doing It...So Do It Too...."

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Mark72
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Re: Now Now - official album reviews

Post by Mark72 » 26 Jun 2018, 10:46

72% So far.....but I'm sure that will rise.
http://www.metacritic.com/music/the-now-now/gorillaz" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
“I need something to remind me that there’s something else”

Neal Zeal
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Re: Now Now - official album reviews

Post by Neal Zeal » 26 Jun 2018, 11:38

Here's a nice positive one at Esquire.
http://www.esquire.com/uk/culture/a2192 ... new-album/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Doesn't seem to have a score but reads like an 8/10.
"The album shines most in its gloomy and quiet moments. 'Kansas' is a particular highlight with a squelching hook and warped autotune vocals from Albarn which have the same world-weary sound as in Kanye West's latest album and James Blake's new release. The track also has echoes of Gorillaz's similarly stirring and downcast tracks 'On Melancholy Hill' or 'Rhinestone Eyes' from Plastic Beach."

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Rubi
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Re: Now Now - official album reviews

Post by Rubi » 26 Jun 2018, 18:54

Neal Zeal wrote:Here's a nice positive one at Esquire.
http://www.esquire.com/uk/culture/a2192 ... new-album/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Doesn't seem to have a score but reads like an 8/10.
"The album shines most in its gloomy and quiet moments. 'Kansas' is a particular highlight with a squelching hook and warped autotune vocals from Albarn which have the same world-weary sound as in Kanye West's latest album and James Blake's new release. The track also has echoes of Gorillaz's similarly stirring and downcast tracks 'On Melancholy Hill' or 'Rhinestone Eyes' from Plastic Beach."
Kansas a highlight? There are much better songs on the album.

Neal Zeal
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Re: Now Now - official album reviews

Post by Neal Zeal » 27 Jun 2018, 11:57

6/10 from Drowned in Sound:
http://drownedinsound.com/releases/2037 ... ws/4151887" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
"Albarn has said that the record was partly conceived so the band would have new material to play at their upcoming festival dates and in this sense, it works. These songs are decent additions to Gorillaz’ catalogue. However, The Now Now is a disappointingly minor album, low on standout songs and big ideas. It also does very little to advance the mythology of Gorillaz. In terms of the project’s narrative, it would have worked better as a 2-D solo album."

Neal Zeal
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Re: Now Now - official album reviews

Post by Neal Zeal » 27 Jun 2018, 11:59

But 4/5 in the NME:
http://www.nme.com/reviews/album/gorill ... bum-review" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
"‘The Now Now’ is a spritely listen. Where ‘Humanz’ leaned too heavily on swampy, generic hip-hop beats (‘Saturnz Barz’, ‘Submission’), ‘The Now Now’ prides itself on making 11 pop tracks that zip with energy, passion and an abundance of ideas. Some are stripped right down to their core and are all the better for it, like the largely instrumental numbers ‘Lake Zurich’ and ‘One Percent’.
20 years after the outlines of the band was first sketched by co-creator Jamie Hewlett, the band clearly still stands as a vivid creative outlet for Albarn. He’s managed to tap into the chaotic ethos so electrifying and unpredictable first time round, and reanimate the band’s fortunes in dazzling fashion."

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