When Gorillaz returned after a six year hiatus with 'Humanz' last year, the record was met with mixed adulation. While many were glad to see the 2-dimensional supergroup return to the world, the record was criticised for being over-bloated with guest contributors that left it feeling like there was no common direction or goal between them. So just after a year later, the band return with a brand new release, one that vastly strips back the guest appearances and sees the band take control of their sound once again.
From the start, 'The Now Now' is a very different animal to 'Humanz'. While their previous work with awash in hip-hop influences and diverse production, 'The Now Now' sees them very much on a path of lo-fi techno and electronica. Yet despite its clear intentions to show how different an album it is, it still doesn't quite have the same magic we would have expected from them again. 'The Now Now' plays very much like an afterthought to 'Humanz', taking all the material that didn't quite fit into their last release and throwing it out regardless.
Damon Albarn's songwriting has become a very focused affair of late and once he gets a idea in his head, he will stretch it as far as it will go. Overall, this new LP seems like it was produced far quicker than anyone would have wanted and while there is a good bulk on interesting work on here, half of it feels more underwhelming than anything else.