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Not only did Gorillaz confirm their new albumThe Now Now will be out June 29th, this morning they also dropped two new singles, one with a music video, and they announced a North American arena tour. They won’t be coming to the Bay Area, but fingers crossed that they add a stop here later down the road.
As I wrote earlier this week, the Gorillaz last album Humanz was a disappointment, and I questioned if the band would be able to create a redeeming album less than a year since the last effort. My first impression from the two new singles is that they might be back on the right track, especially with the ultra-danceable “Lake Zurich”, but I’m still skeptical.
When it comes to the lead single “Humility”, the summer vibes are strong in both the music and the video. But the actual song is ridiculously boring despite a feature from jazz legend George Benson on guitar. A cameo from Jack Black and funky animated/live action shots of Venice Beach makes for a really fun video, but it does not make up for the fact that the song is the audio equivalent of a horse tranquilizer.
Damon Albarn revealed earlier today that the new album will only feature three guests: George Benson, Snoop Dogg, and house music pioneer Jamie Principal. That’s a stark contrast to the bloated number of features (15) on their last. Maybe a newfound emphasis on the Gorillaz themselves, as opposed to a revolving door of bit players, will produce a better album. If history tells us anything, it will – their first two albums only featured a handful of guest artists, while the last two dumpster fires seemingly had more guests than songs.
Coincidence? Probably. But I’m looking for hope that this new album won’t be another bummer.