Skip to main content
Loading...

Featured Post

Dell XPS 13 (9370) vs Dell XPS 13 (9380)

Can Dell make its XPS 13 laptop any better? Well it's tried with a new 2019 model so we compare the two and explain what has and hasn't changed.
Should I Buy The Dell XPS 13 9370 (2018) Or Dell XPS 13 (2019)?
There’s a new XPS 13 in town but you’ll struggle to justify the upgrade from 2018’s model with namely a new webcam as a headline upgrade.
Sure, there are other upgrades to the the core specs but for most people, these will be fairly insignificant. The inclusion of a cheaper Core i3 model is particularly interesting.

Flipboard

Flipboard

Gorillaz - The Now Now Music Album Reviews

Gorillaz - The Now Now Music Album Reviews
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.

At 50, Damon Albarn is still writing songs for the world’s most popular cartoon band because he believes in the romantic idea that an international charting group can change the world. Cartoons appeal to young people, which makes illustrator and co-founder Jamie Hewlett’s multicultural avatars—2-D, Russel, Noodle, the “imprisoned” Murdoc, and stand-in bassist Ace—a Trojan horse for the kind of politics that people prefer not to hear from millionaires. The records range from eco-centric protests to dystopian party playlists, all full of Albarn’s auteur charm and a faint scent of calculation, as if they’d been executive-produced by a bohemian pop-cultural think tank.

It’s hard to resent someone as melodically adept as Albarn, or so obviously in love with their work. On The Now Now—Gorillaz’s second album in two years, and Albarn’s fourth in five—he writes simple, mostly upbeat songs with words of exhaustion. Adrift from the group’s grand concepts, this is their least ambitious and most plainly enjoyable music in years: written on tour, hashed out by Albarn and Hewlett at their studios, and recorded in the space of a month. It is, in the band’s telling, a solo album by Albarn’s character 2-D. It sounds, to the less imaginative, like an outlet for the daydream funk, playful psych-pop, and upscale disco that presumably soundtrack Albarn’s rare days off.

When Gorillaz records do grate, it’s usually thanks to a kind of sarcastic opulence, as if they’d been dictated by a man in a poolside recliner who won’t put down his iPad. Even when they’re on form, there’s something not quite right about their version of pop. The album opens with “Humility,” which sounds like an A.I.-generated summer bop: basslines bounce, synths rush, and George Benson riffs frolic like dragonflies. Everything is in its right place, yet the tune, as well as plenty here like it, conjures the ennui that descends when you finally arrive at the beach and wonder, Is this it? It is. The Now Now is programmed fun, the affable kind that never threatens to whisk you away, but its wrongness is oddly compelling and part of Gorillaz’s world-building dexterity.

The Now Now succeeds partly because of its scarce guest list (Snoop Dogg and Jamie Principle, on “Hollywood,” are the only vocal features), relative to last year’s overstuffed Humanz. The allure of isolation defines the record—Albarn wrote it in penthouse hotel rooms—and the motif fits his themes of modern politics and technology. “Calling the world from isolation,” the album begins, a mantra that shape-shifts to allude to Brexit, gun laws, and other political specters. It’s handy that these themes are, with Albarn’s light touch, mostly interchangeable, because they later become entangled with the subplot of a sabotaged relationship. “Baby I just survived, I got drunk, I’m sorry, am I losing you,” he groans on “Fire Flies,” a come-back plea that might as well be Britain sending a rueful late-night text to the EU. After endless observational laments, it’s a welcome personal flourish, albeit undermined by plodding space-funk that’s barely more convincing than its penitent narrator.

Given his penchant for the music of Mali and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, it’s fascinating that Albarn remains such a sucker for generic pop-house and boom-bap beats. Gorillaz may be the only band in the world that could be improved by Diplo: Their rhythmic homogeneity—along with the space-station filters on Albarn’s already glum vocals—sometimes keeps these otherwise masterful pop confections grounded. Often the best songs are, accordingly, the folksiest, like “Souk Eye” and “One Percent,” fingerpicked acoustic numbers embellished by android whirrs and longing synths. They might have populated a follow-up to Everyday Robots, Albarn’s 2014 solo LP, were it not for their fairytale twinkle—the sense that everything is at once awful and full of magic, a quality that animates all of Gorillaz’s most apocalyptically pretty work.

Albarn had a shot at rehabilitating his languid balladry on Everyday Robots, his first latter-career album to let his melancholy just exist without ornamentation. The cartoon band can catch you off guard like that, in a summer pop playlist or a branch of Urban Outfitters, which makes the project, in a strange way, a more suitable solo concern than Albarn’s proper solo work. He’s his own institution now, neither a dilettante nor a polymath, comparable to none, still with a schoolboy eye for the absurd and an interest in almost everything. It might be too humble for its own good, but The Now Now is the rare commercial sojourn that feels like a product of real fascination.


View the original article here

Comments

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Loading...

Popular posts from this blog

Apple iPad Pro 2018 vs Microsoft Surface Pro 6

Apple’s latest iPad Pros are a very tempting purchase, but should you stick with the tried-and-tested Surface Pro from Microsoft? We help you decide which tablet to buy.
Should I Buy The Microsoft Surface Pro 6 Or Apple iPad Pro 11in (2018)? Two very competent 2-in-1s, one running Windows 10, the other iOS 12. For many this difference alone will inform the final choice, but both are top-notch tablets. 

Huawei P Smart 2019 Review

Huawei has updated its budget Android phone for 2019. It’s faster and better than before, but should you buy it? Read our review to find out.
Should I Buy The Huawei P Smart 2019?
The P Smart 2019 is a great upgrade from the 2018 model with a bigger screen and better performance. However, as with the original P Smart, Honor's version is better value.

Oppo RX17 Pro Review

Though similar to the OnePlus 6T the Oppo RX17 Pro is very different thanks to the software. Here’s our full review
Should I Buy The Oppo RX17 Pro?
The RX17 Pro is a great looking phone with good performance and a lush display. But with a Snapdragon 710 rather than the better 845 it’s just impossible not to compare it to the OnePlus 6T which looks the same, has better software for the western market and, importantly, costs less.
If you like the look of Oppo’s interface though then there’s a lot to like. The two colour options are premium as is the build quality and the cameras are above average if not great.

Nokia 9 Release Date, Price & Spec Rumours

We've waited two years for the Nokia 9, and at the end of this month the company could finally put us out of our misery. Here's what we know about the Nokia 9 PureView, which could feature a penta-lens rear camera.
Nokia made its comeback to the Android market in January 2017 with the Nokia 6, and we've been waiting two years now for its long-rumoured flagship Nokia 9 to arrive. At MWC 2018 we thought that time was here, and then we got the the Nokia 8 Sirocco. But now the wait could really, really be over, as the Nokia 9 is tipped to land before the end of January 2019. 

Synology Mesh Router MR2200ac Review

You probably know Synology for making NAS drives but the firm has also turned its hand to mesh networks. Here we review the MR2200ac.
Should I Buy The Synology Mesh Router MR2200ac?
Synology could do a little more to explain the many features of the MR2200ac for first-time users, but the strong performance of this mesh system, and the fine-control provided by its web browser interface make it a good option for business users or home users who have a little more experience of networking technology.

Like Fan Page