Gorillaz, the virtual alternative band led by Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett, have officially released their much anticipated album The NOW NOW. The album is entirely written from 2-D’s perspective, and brings light to heavy topics such as addiction and self-destructive behaviors.
The album opens with Humility, a beachy tune about rekindling a past relationship, possibly alluding to Brexit, Britain’s decision to separate from the European Union. With lines like “shoot it true” and “you better have good aim”, it is clear that in order to make this relationship work, one must be determined to do so. 2-D struggles with deciding whether to try and mend this relationship, or to just drop it altogether.
The second song featured on the album is Tranz, a song with a beat almost as catchy as Gorillaz’s Dare. The virtual band members of Gorillaz are notorious for their drinking habits, and it’s no secret these habits are self-destructive. Lyrics such as “when you get back on a Saturday night and your head is caving in” relate to being hungover, and “do you turn into your effigy” points out that drinking too much can cause one to turn into someone with an aim to destroy. The song is a silent question of ‘do you regret the way I do?’
Hollywood references the fact that people will do anything for fame, and they often get too caught up in their jealousy of others lives.It is easy to get high on the idea of stardom, but it is often not what is expected. The fourth song, Kansas, is a non-love song about the impossibility of moving on from a past love. 2-D tries hard to forget the love interest, but he ultimately ends up falling for the person that rejected him all over again.
Sorcererz confronts the idea of conforming and the death of individuality due to individuals getting too caught up in the past. The song highlights the struggle of remaining unique in a conformist society, and 2-D reminds the listener to pause and reflect on what makes them different.
Idaho is exactly what it sounds like. An ode to Idaho. Damon Albarn spent some time in the Bruce Willis ski lodge in Blaine County, Idaho. Gorillaz’s fourth album, The Fall was entirely composed in Idaho. Idaho is almost a surreal calming place to Albarn, and he uses this song to reconcile with the state.
Lake Zurich is a possible response to the criticism Humanz faced. Albarn states “I’ve made up my mind, to share my vision with the world”, thus him deciding to release the previous album regardless of the backlash, and in response to the aftermath, Albarn claims he’s “not responsible for” it.
In Magic City, 2-D could be described as ‘looking down on humankind’ and observing their accomplishments such as expanding life to other planets, “look there’s a billboard on the moon”. While it’s clear that 2-D is high, he claims “You [the drug] got me questioning it all”. If it were not for this drug in his system, 2-D would not be able to view the world in this way, and he would not have developed a higher understanding for society.
Fire Flies deals with Damon Albarn’s battle with Heroin. Albarn once felt that he needed the drug in order to create amazing music as it “put the force in me [Albarn]”. He kept following false hopes, or “fire flies”, that the drug was providing him. When battling the addiction, he knew it was hurting him, but he was too withdrawn to care.
One Percent is solely all about existing and taking in what experiences you can. Listening and receiving.
The final song on the album, Souk Eye, is another love song about breaking up, but always coming back to that same old love. 2-D tries to reel the love back in by promising new experiences, “I'll be a regular guy for you, I never said I'd do that”. No matter what 2-D does, he “will always think about” his love.
Will 2-D ever end this clearly toxic relationship? Will Murdoc ever be freed from jail? I guess we will have to wait for the press interviews to find out.
Written by Ava Caron
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