The new Arctic Monkeys album landed on my desk yesterday morning. Being a huge fan of the first album, and not so much of any of the following, I did have the faintest hope in my heart that for once I could enjoy one of the new records. After all, the buzzing hype of “the new Arctic Monkeys record!” can be intoxicating, especially when living in Sheffield.
‘Tranquillity Base Hotel and Casino’ possesses the guile of Alex Turner’s husky northern dialect, but the album is not familiar. Lacking any certifiable bangers, the song is a mature cheddar among chaotic and energetic contemporary scene of cheese strings, offering a multitude of slow, yet bold ballads and witty-retorts about the Arctic Monkey legacy.
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I appreciate this album because AM clearly have no intention of making an album their fans want, but rather have produced an album that they themselves want. The cosmic piano passages, the looming atmospheric synth presence, and the all but ominously distant guitars seem to put into music the phrase “Tranquillity Base Hotel and Casino” … if the place existed, this album would ring through its halls.
Arctic Monkeys perform 4 Out of 5, at The Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles, on 505 (May 5th), 2018
Turner pushes his voice through a range of styles, emulating his likely heroes and emphasising with the guitar work which twists and turns around a valley of cascading drum beats. I can feel this will be an album that will split the fan base, but as an outsider, someone who has never really certified themselves as a member of the devout, I am impressed by how much I didn’t hate this record, and how much I find myself nodding in agreement with the lyrical sentiments and realising that… hey? This aint’ too bad.