CRITIC’S CORNER: Arctic Monkeys

ALBUM: Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino

Rating: 7/10

Arctic Monkeys new slow-paced charmer isn’t enough for us to forget the old days, but it certainly sweetens the present. Lee Saunders reports.

The release of Arctic Monkeys new album ‘Tranquillity Base Hotel & Casino’, which will include a tour of America and Europe, has caused quite the stir.

The album, inspired by the base in Florida Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin met four days prior to landing on the moon in 1969, is a rocket ship trip away from the cheeky rascal rock ‘n’ roll of over a decade ago, but it genuinely tempts us to put that down and mature with the stars alongside them.

In what is their sixth studio album, lead of the group Alex Turner found more joy on the piano, as he takes us on a slow, swanky journey of methodical sounding tunes. Four Out Of Five is the closest we get to your typical ‘single’ and could belong with the bands very best work, dominated by a big-hitting but bouncy guitar rift.

Other showstoppers include American Sports and opener Star Treatment, which have an adventurous, spacey feel. The song Tranqulity Base Hotel & Casino includes some of Turner’s classically soft vocals, and Batphone consists of a wonderfully seductive beat.

However, the album lacks the strength in depth of past work. Golden Trunks and She Looks Like Fun are very harsh on the ears. The World’s First Ever Monster Truck Front Flip (other than the name) and Science Fiction fail to reel you in. Ultracheese and One Point Perspective, while easy on the ear, aren’t among Turner’s elite slow songs.

It’s difficult to listen all the way through without longing to hear another gloriously manic guitar enthused tune, as has occurred in nearly all the band’s work thus far. This record doesn’t have a ‘Still Take You Home’, a ‘Brianstorm’, or an ‘R U Mine’. Is that a bad thing? No, it means we can dabble with all their work, because Turner has continued to evolve, and is reacting to it in a remarkably impressive way. But the record simply struggles to hit the mark at times. You don’t feel as close to Turner in this album.

Tranqulity Base Hotel & Casino is a sure sign, if there was ever any doubt, that Arctic Monkeys can still encapsulate us, if even if it’s only a teaser of their greatness.

Edited by Natacha V. Andueza Bosch

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