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The Arctic Monkeys - What happened?

Our thoughts on the controversial sixth album...

The Arctic Monkeys
The Arctic Monkeys in all their glory.

Transcendent of their punk rock-esque roots, the Arctic Monkeys’ new album is a synth-laden addition to their stellar portfolio, and a clear diffusion from the rest of their collection. You certainly won’t look as good on the dance floor dancing to this though.

Ending their 5 year hiatus, the Arctic Monkeys’ ‘Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino’ is the band’s sixth studio album and has been met with mixed reviews, ranging from down-right defamatory to praise of the record’s sense of 70’s antiquity.

What do we think?

Well, having been Arctic Monkeys fans since ‘I bet you look good on the dancefloor’, and genuinely heralding their last album, AM, as one of the greatest albums ever produced, its safe to say we were bitterly disappointed.

From the get-go, the album lacks any sense of musical coherence, and seems like more of an eccentric Alex Turner solo project than a rough and ready rock album. The gentrification of the band’s sound makes for difficult listening, and with track names like ‘The World’s First Ever Monster Truck Frontflip’, the music doesn’t justify the moniker.

Lacking any of the hallmarks of the band’s long-established sound, overdriven guitar leads, fantastically exuberant drumming courtesy of Matthew J. Helders the 3rd and vocals that could make an alligator smile are overlooked in favour of Bowie-esque synth pop and lyrics that meander from topic to topic like a drunken car salesman. Not good.

All of the above, combined with a distinct lack of choruses throughout make the album decidedly un-memorable, the only standout track being ‘Four out of Five’, which must’ve been recorded on a day where the synth was out for cleaning, making Jamie Cook’s stellar guitar work almost audible and favouring Nick O’Malleys driving bass riff over Turner’s new-found prowess on the keys.

All-in-all, the album was experimental, risky and unprecedented, but does the end justify the means? We think not.

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