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The Now Now

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The Now Now
Gorillaz - The Now Now.jpg
Studio album by Gorillaz
Released 29 June 2018 (2018-06-29)
Recorded September 2017 – February 2018
Studio
  • Studio 13, London
Genre
Length 40:49
Label
Producer
Gorillaz chronology
Humanz
(2017)
The Now Now
(2018)
Singles from The Now Now
  1. "Humility"
    Released: 31 May 2018
  2. "Lake Zurich"
    Released: 31 May 2018
  3. "Sorcererz"
    Released: 7 June 2018
  4. "Fire Flies"
    Released: 14 June 2018
  5. "Hollywood"
    Released: 21 June 2018
  6. "Tranz"
    Released: 14 September 2018

The Now Now is the sixth studio album by British virtual band Gorillaz. The album was released on 29 June 2018 via Parlophone and Warner Bros. Records. Recording began during the North American leg of the Humanz Tour in late 2017. According to Gorillaz co-creator, Damon Albarn, the album was recorded quickly so that the band would have more material to play at future concerts. The album was first teased through a series of posters found at All Points East festival, and was officially announced two days later. The posters contained phrases and a link to a website, which displayed a short teaser containing a snippet of what would later be released as "Lake Zurich" and the release date. Albarn has described the album as "pretty much just me singing" and "very sort of in the world of" the fictional Gorillaz lead singer 2-D.[4]

Background

After the release of their 2017 album Humanz, Albarn had hinted at the possibility of a new Gorillaz album arriving sooner rather than later, mentioning how he enjoyed recording and debuting new music while on tour. He compared the spontaneous nature of it to their 2010 album, The Fall, but expressed desire to make another record like that feel more "complete" in comparison, adding that "if we're going to do more with Gorillaz we don't want to wait seven years because, y'know, we're getting on a bit now".[5] He would later confirm that they were working on another Gorillaz album that was scheduled for release the subsequent year.[6]

New songs from the album were performed on the Humanz Tour. At a concert in Seattle in September 2017, a new song called "Idaho" was debuted.[7] In late March 2018, while at a concert in Santiago, they debuted another new song, "Hollywood", which features Jamie Principle and Snoop Dogg.[8] At this concert, Albarn stated that the album had recently been finished and would be out soon.[8] That May, a series of posters were found at All Points East Festival which contained phrases such as "G is the Magic Number" and "Save Us from Him"[9] and a URL. The latter pointed to a teaser for the album that revealed its title and its release date, 29 June. It also contained a short snippet of a new song which was later released as "Lake Zurich".[10] On 28 May, the day after the festival had ended, Emma de Caunes, the wife of Jamie Hewlett, posted an image on her Instagram account which officially confirmed the album's release.[11]

Recording

The majority of the album was recorded in February 2018 at Studio 13 in London.[12]

According to a Radio X interview with Albarn, the album was produced within a short timeframe so the band would have new material to play at upcoming festivals.[13] As a byproduct of the album's expedited production, The Now Now features fewer guest collaborators than previous Gorillaz records.[13]

In the same interview, Albarn credited producer James Ford for heavily contributing to the album's lyrical cohesion, stating: "He's 'sense police', he likes everything to make sense. Traditionally with Gorillaz, I haven't really finished anything off completely, and I've let just the first time I've sung something stick if it felt right; but he was like, 'just make it make a little more sense'. If this record makes any more sense, it's entirely down to him, not me."[13]

Release and promotion

Logo for the album used in pre-release promotional material

On 31 May 2018, the first single from the album, "Humility", made its debut via Zane Lowe's Beats 1 radio program.[14] The same day, it was officially released as a digital download along with a second single, "Lake Zurich", and a music video featuring Jack Black.[15] The song had been announced the previous day.[16] The same day, a North American seven-date tour to promote the album beginning in October 2018 which is part of The Now Now Tour was announced.[17] On 24 June 2018, Gorillaz performed The Now Now live at the Boiler Room in Tokyo, Japan, streaming it live on YouTube.

Singles

On 31 May 2018, two singles were released on Gorillaz' official YouTube channel, "Humility" and "Lake Zurich". "Humility" has so far peaked at 81 on the UK Singles Chart,[18] 85 on the US Billboard Hot 100[19] and 7 on US Hot Rock Songs chart. "Lake Zurich" peaked at 35 on the US Hot Rock Songs chart. On 7 June, the third single, "Sorcererz", was released. It peaked at 36 on the US Hot Rock Songs chart. On 14 June, the fourth single, "Fire Flies", was released. It peaked at 32 on the US Hot Rock Songs chart.[20] On 21 June, the fifth single, "Hollywood", was released. It peaked at 26 on the US Hot Rock Songs chart. On 14 September, the sixth single, "Tranz", was released.

Reception

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 73/100[21]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3.5/5 stars[22]
Clash 7/10[1]
Drowned in Sound 6/10[2]
Mojo 3/5 stars[21]
musicOMH 3.5/5 stars[23]
NME 4/5 stars[24]
Pitchfork 6.8/10[25]
Q 4/5 stars[21]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[26]
Uncut 3.5/5 stars[21]

The Now Now received mostly positive reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalised rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 73, based on 28 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[21]

A comparably stripped-down affair, the album was praised for its lyrical and sonic simplicity. In his review, NME's Thomas Smith called it a "trim and spritely listen".[24] According to Rolling Stone's Will Hermes, the simplistic approach results in "the band's most coherent LP to date".[26] Notably, many reviewers compared it to the band's last two records. Favourably commenting on the new-found coherence reminiscent of The Fall, Drowned in Sound's Duncan Conrad noted both the "radically shortened guest list" and the "written-on-the-road simplicity" more akin to the band's 2010 fan club giveaway than the "over-stuffed" Humanz.[2] In the same vein, NME's Smith lauded the album as more concise and less "generic" than its immediate predecessor.[24]

Most critics also lauded the album's energy and optimism. Comprising "11 pop tracks that zip with energy, passion and an abundance of ideas",[24] The Now Now was perceived as "optimistic by [Albarn's] usual standards".[26] Among others, Clash's Wilf Skinner called it "a jubilant and solidly varied [...] album".[1]

Conversely, however, a number of critics identified a lack of ambition and creativity on the album. The Rolling Stone noted a distinct lack of "the sparks that come from the usual Gorillaz mess of ideas and personalities".[26] In similar fashion, Drowned in Sound called it a "disappointingly minor album, low on standout songs and big ideas", and lacking the band's trademark experimentation.[2]

In addition, critics appeared to be similarly torn on the album's narrative. While Drowned in Sound's Conrad concluded that the album "does very little to advance the mythology [of the band]" and thus ultimately "lacks a sense of purpose",[2] NME considered its narrative a "welcome addition" to the band's "highly entertaining mythology".[24]

Commercial performance

In the United Kingdom, the album debuted at number five on the UK Albums Chart, becoming Gorillaz's sixth top-ten album on that chart.[27]

In the United States, The Now Now debuted at number four on the US Billboard 200 with 63,000 album-equivalent units, of which 52,000 were pure album sales.[28] It serves as Gorillaz's fifth top-ten album in the United States.[28]

Track listing

The Now Now[29]
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Humility" (featuring George Benson)
3:17
2. "Tranz"
  • Albarn
  • Ford
  • Kabaka
  • Kabaka
  • Gorillaz
  • Ford
2:42
3. "Hollywood" (featuring Snoop Dogg and Jamie Principle)
4:53
4. "Kansas"
  • Ford
  • Albarn
  • Kabaka
  • Kabaka
  • Gorillaz
  • Ford
4:08
5. "Sorcererz"
  • Ford
  • Albarn
  • Kabaka
  • Kabaka
  • Gorillaz
  • Ford
3:00
6. "Idaho"
  • Ford
  • Albarn
  • Kabaka
  • Kabaka
  • Gorillaz
  • Ford
3:42
7. "Lake Zurich"
  • Ford
  • Albarn
  • Kabaka
  • Gorillaz
  • Ford
  • Kabaka
4:13
8. "Magic City"
  • Ford
  • Albarn
  • Kabaka
  • Benson
  • Kabaka
  • Ford
  • Gorillaz
3:59
9. "Fire Flies"
  • Ford
  • Albarn
  • Kabaka
  • Kabaka
  • Gorillaz
  • Ford
3:53
10. "One Percent"
  • Ford
  • Albarn
  • Kabaka
  • Kabaka
  • Gorillaz
  • Ford
2:21
11. "Souk Eye"
  • Ford
  • Albarn
  • Kabaka
  • Kabaka
  • Gorillaz
  • Ford
4:34
Total length: 40:49

Personnel

Charts

Chart (2018) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[32] 4
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[33] 8
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[34] 5
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[35] 2
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[36] 4
Danish Albums (Hitlisten)[37] 27
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[38] 5
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[39] 17
French Albums (SNEP)[40] 6
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[41] 10
Greek Albums (IFPI)[42] 28
Hungarian Albums (MAHASZ)[43] 7
Irish Albums (IRMA)[44] 4
Italian Albums (FIMI)[45] 17
Mexican Albums (Top 100 Mexico)[46] 3
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[47] 9
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[48] 7
Polish Albums (ZPAV)[49] 27
Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE)[50] 11
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[51] 18
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[52] 3
Swiss Albums (Romandie)[53] 1
UK Albums (OCC)[54] 5
US Billboard 200[28] 4
US Top Alternative Albums (Billboard)[55] 2
US Top Rock Albums (Billboard)[56] 2
US Top Tastemaker Albums (Billboard)[57] 1

Notes

  1. ^ Additional recording on track 1
  2. ^ Additional recording on track 3
  3. ^ Demos for tracks 3 and 11
  4. ^ Demo for track 4
  5. ^ Demo for track 6
  6. ^ Demos for tracks 7 and 10
  7. ^ Demo for track 8

References

  1. ^ a b c Skinner, Wilf. "Gorillaz – The Now Now". Clash Magazine. Retrieved 26 June 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e Duncan, Conrad. "Album Review: Gorillaz – The Now Now". Drowned In Sound. Retrieved 26 June 2018.
  3. ^ a b "The Now Now - Gorillaz - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic.
  4. ^ Serota, Maggie (31 May 2018). "Gorillaz — "Humility" and "Lake Zurich"". Spin. Retrieved 1 June 2018.
  5. ^ "The Gorillaz might drop a surprise album on us". Mixmag. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  6. ^ "Gorillaz To Release New Album In 2018". Radio X. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  7. ^ "Jam to a new ode to Idaho, thanks to this Grammy-winning band — and Bruce Willis". Idaho Statesman. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  8. ^ a b "Watch Gorillaz Debut a New Song in Chile". Spin. 28 March 2018. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  9. ^ Bowman, Lisa. "Has the release date for Gorillaz' new album been confirmed?". NME (29 May 2018). Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  10. ^ "Gorillaz Tease New Project Coming Soon, 'The Now Now'". Billboard. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  11. ^ "It's official: Gorillaz to release new album next month". Consequence of Sound. 29 May 2018. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  12. ^ Jon, Blistein (31 May 2018). "Gorillaz Tap Jack Black for Vibrant New 'Humility' Video". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  13. ^ a b c Albarn, Damon (31 May 2018). "Why Damon Albarn Shunned A Collaboration With Prince" (Interview). Interviewed by Gordon Smart. London: Radio X. Retrieved 11 June 2018. We've been very lucky to be offered all the festivals this year on the back of the last record [...] but I didn't want to do that unless I had something new to work with, so the only option was to make another record really quickly and not have lots of guests on it, because that takes a long time to organize; just do it all myself, really.
  14. ^ Pearis, Bill (31 May 2018). "Gorillaz share new single "Humility" (ft. George Benson) & talk new LP". BrooklynVegan. Retrieved 31 May 2018.
  15. ^ Kaye, Ben (31 May 2018). "Gorillaz return with new singles "Humility" and "Lake Zurich": Stream". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 31 May 2018.
  16. ^ Enos, Morgan (30 May 2018). "Gorillaz Announce Next Album 'The Now Now'". Billboard. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  17. ^ Kaye, Ben (31 May 2018). "Gorillaz announce North American arena tour, Los Angeles Demon Dayz Festival". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 1 June 2018.
  18. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100: 8 June 2018". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 11 June 2018.
  19. ^ "Gorillaz Humility Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 11 June 2018.
  20. ^ "Listen to Gorillaz's New Song "Fire Flies" - Pitchfork". pitchfork.com.
  21. ^ a b c d e "The Now Now by Gorillaz Reviews and Tracks". Metacritic. Retrieved 26 June 2018.
  22. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "The Now Now- Gorillaz". AllMusic. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  23. ^ Devlin, Ben. "Gorillaz – The Now Now". musicOMH.com. Retrieved 26 June 2018.
  24. ^ a b c d e Smith, Thomas. "Gorillaz – 'The Now Now' Review". NME. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
  25. ^ Monroe, Jazz. "Gorillaz: The Now Now Album Review". Pitchfork. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  26. ^ a b c d Hermes, Will. "Review: Gorillaz' 'The Now Now' Is a Focused Call for Unity In Hard Times". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
  27. ^ "Drake's Scorpion debuts at Number 1 on the Official Albums Chart with bumper week of streams". Official Charts Company. July 6, 2018. Retrieved July 7, 2018.
  28. ^ a b c Caulfield, Keith (8 July 2018). "Florence + The Machine, Gorillaz Debut in Top 10 on Billboard 200 Albums Chart". Billboard. Retrieved 9 July 2018.
  29. ^ "The Now Now / Gorillaz TIDAL". TIDAL. Retrieved 18 August 2018.
  30. ^ "The Now Now | Gorillaz – Download and listen to the album". Qobuz. Retrieved 11 June 2018. Display track details
  31. ^ a b c The Now Now (liner notes). Gorillaz. Parlophone. 2018. 0190295643416. Retrieved July 3, 2018.
  32. ^ "Australiancharts.com – Gorillaz – The Now Now". Hung Medien. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
  33. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Gorillaz – The Now Now" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  34. ^ "Ultratop.be – Gorillaz – The Now Now" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 6 July 2018.
  35. ^ "Ultratop.be – Gorillaz – The Now Now" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 6 July 2018.
  36. ^ "Gorillaz Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 10 July 2018.
  37. ^ "Hitlisten.NU – Album Top-40 Uge 27, 2018". Hitlisten. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
  38. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Gorillaz – The Now Now" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 6 July 2018.
  39. ^ "Gorillaz: The Now Now" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 8 July 2018.
  40. ^ "Lescharts.com – Gorillaz – The Now Now". Hung Medien. Retrieved 10 July 2018.
  41. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Gorillaz – The Now Now" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 6 July 2018.
  42. ^ "Top-75 Albums Sales Chart". IFPI Greece. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
  43. ^ "Top 40 album DVD és válogatáslemez-lista – {{{year}}}. {{{week}}}. hét" (in Hungarian). MAHASZ. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  44. ^ "Irish-charts.com – Discography Gorillaz". Hung Medien. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
  45. ^ "Italiancharts.com – Gorillaz – The Now Now". Hung Medien. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
  46. ^ "Mexicancharts.com – Gorillaz – Humanz". Hung Medien. Retrieved 22 July 2018.
  47. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Gorillaz – The Now Now". Hung Medien. Retrieved 6 July 2018.
  48. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Gorillaz – The Now Now". Hung Medien. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
  49. ^ "Oficjalna lista sprzedaży :: OLiS - Official Retail Sales Chart". OLiS. Polish Society of the Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  50. ^ "Top 100 Albumes – Semana 27: del 29.6.2018 al 5.7.2018" (in Spanish). Productores de Música de España. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
  51. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Gorillaz – The Now Now". Hung Medien. Retrieved 6 July 2018.
  52. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Gorillaz – The Now Now". Hung Medien. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
  53. ^ "Les charts de la Suisse romande" (in French). 20 Minutes Online. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
  54. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
  55. ^ "Gorillaz Chart History (Top Alternative Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 10 July 2018.
  56. ^ "Gorillaz Chart History (Top Rock Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 10 July 2018.
  57. ^ "Gorillaz Chart History (Top Tastemaker Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved July 17, 2018.
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