Albums to watch

The Now Now

Gorillaz

The Now Now

Sixth studio album from Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett's virtual band featuring guest appearances from George Benson, Jamie Principle and Snoop Dogg

ADM rating[?]

7.0

Label
Parlophone / Warner Bros.
UK Release date
29/06/2018
US Release date
29/06/2018
  1. 8.2 |   Sputnik Music (staff)

    The aspiring traveller's pocketbook guide to America and politics that you can take to the beach
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  2. 8.0 |   Exclaim

    All in all, The Now Now feels fresh and present. Gorillaz have performed a type of sonic reset by stripping back their cast of collaborators, yet it exemplifies the strength of the songwriting at the group's core
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  3. 8.0 |   The Line Of Best Fit

    It’s no Plastic Beach, but, by ditching the often hackneyed attempts to stay relevant that verged on self-parody and digging into their identity and other existential fears, Gorillaz have demonstrated that they still have the power to feel vital
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  4. 8.0 |   The Arts Desk

    Chilled summer groove, with synths popping irresistible bubblegum melodies
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  5. 8.0 |   DIY

    A more spaced-out affair, stripped of its star-studded collaborations and bathed in the apparent apathy of the modern age
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  6. 8.0 |   Q

    There's more soul bearing here than on anything since his Everyday Robots solo album. Print edition only

  7. 8.0 |   Rolling Stone

    Damon Albarn trims down the guest list and focuses his songwriting on the band's most coherent LP to date
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  8. 8.0 |   The Skinny

    Celebrates the interpenetration of alternate realities and our mundane. It’s a reminder that realities, real or otherwise, are shared
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  9. 8.0 |   NME

    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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  10. 8.0 |   The Guardian

    The Now Now is capable of beguiling despite the babble – a Gorillaz album that, for once, acts not as loudspeaker for the cacophony of modern life, but a salve instead
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  11. 7.8 |   Paste Magazine

    Feels like the product of someone slipping slowly but steadily into the depths of their personal and existential confusion
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  12. 7.5 |   A.V. Club

    Snoop Dogg’s much-hyped guest spot, “Hollywood,” is upbeat but flat and uninspired. Overall, The Now Now would work better if it fully embraced its melancholy
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  13. 7.0 |   PopMatters

    Gorillaz's sixth album is Damon Albarn hunched over his instruments, reflecting on the King Kong he's created
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  14. 7.0 |   Spectrum Culture

    A return to bare essentials for Albarn
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  15. 7.0 |   All Music

    Finds Albarn turning inward, finding solace in old sounds - particularly disco and old school hip-hop - while musing about the darker winds that blow outside of his door
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  16. 7.0 |   The Music

    The maudlin sound of much of the album still retains the futuristic gleam that defines the technological and graphic quality of Gorillaz
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  17. 7.0 |   Clash

    Another jubilant and solidly varied Gorillaz album
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  18. 7.0 |   music OMH

    Production duties are shared with James Ford of Simian Mobile Disco, and an ’80s funk vibe seeps appealingly through the album
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  19. 7.0 |   Uncut

    It feels like Albarn in transit, both physically and mentally. Print edition only

  20. 6.8 |   Pitchfork

    The allure of isolation defines Damon Albarn’s latest project. With only a few guests on the album, he writes simple, mostly upbeat songs with words of exhaustion
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  21. 6.5 |   Under The Radar

    Albarn is at his most interesting when he is in the spotlight
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  22. 6.0 |   Earbuddy

    The Now Now feels more like a proper Gorillaz album. Albarn or 2D rather is at the forefront of these songs. You get meaningless guest appearances from George Benson, Snoop Dogg, and Jamie Principle, so there’s that
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  23. 6.0 |   The Observer

    Too much of a breeze
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  24. 6.0 |   Loud And Quiet

    The first half’s songs in particular are aimlessly unremarkable, with little of the swagger or paradigm-disrupting confidence of the Gorillaz concept at its height
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  25. 6.0 |   The Irish Times

    The lack of guest appearances on The Now Now reduces the size of the fantastical world that Albarn and Hewitt have dreamed up, leaving less room for the unexpected and highlighting the central theme of loneliness
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  26. 6.0 |   The Independent

    Where their first three albums demanded your attention, The Now Now glides past, failing to confront the listener for the most part, and containing just enough solid songs to not fall into the lower echelons of Albarn’s work
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  27. 6.0 |   Drowned In Sound

    The Now Now is an easy album to forget and one that lacks a sense of purpose
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  28. 6.0 |   Mojo

    This is a record that manages to feel both trapped and rootless. Print edition only

  29. 5.0 |   The 405

    Lately, it seems the band (moreover, Albarn) has developed a “Why not?” attitude in regards to releasing their music, and, considering this, it’s hard to be excited about the band’s future
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  30. 5.0 |   Consequence Of Sound

    For now, Gorillaz seem content to oscillate between extremes, a futuristic pop powerhouse that cannot decide what the future looks like
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