A stripped down cast power a jubilant and solidly varied Gorillaz album...
'The Now Now'

It’s quite easy to lose sight of the fact that ‘The Now Now’ was rushed out, recorded in February in time for festival season, as it sounds typically expansive and self-assured.

The cast is less star-studded than usual, but after ‘Humanz’ there was always going to be a dearth of collaborators. ‘Hollywood’ - featuring Snoop Dogg and Jamie Principle - is catchy but a little bit annoying, so it’s not a huge loss.

‘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.

7/10

Words: Wilf Skinner

Dig it? Dig deeper: Damon Albarn, Blur, Snoop Dogg

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