Arctic Monkeys are back for the first time in five years, and fans of their previous work are sure to be disappointed, but that doesn’t mean the album isn’t good. The album is a step, or ten, away from the arena rock that made them one of the biggest bands in the world back in 2006. To be brief, the record, as the title would suggest, fits the mood of a lounge singer in outer space. It’s smooth, yet sticky and oddly satisfying.
This isn’t a collection of songs, but an album in its purest form. The band avoided releasing any singles prior to the release of the project, probably because the album lacks any distinctive singles to speak of. There’s no radio hit, but a collection of rich, soothing tracks that seem equally likely to be from the past or future.
The album seems to, at first blush, be a drastic stylistic change from their previous work. This would surely be true if a listener hadn’t listened to any Arctic Monkeys records since their debut Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not. However, the similarities between this record and their last, 2013’s AM, are present. Particularly on the track Four Out of Five, which sounds like it could be stripped straight out of AM, slowed down and thrown on the new album. Combining this AM style sound, with lead singer and songwriter Alex Turner’s work with his side project, The Last Shadow Puppets, and this album no longer seems like such a drastic change, and more like a logical creative progression.
These are the songs of a man who no longer wishes to be seen as a writer of teen angst songs, and these songs aptly correct this public perception.
The album Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino was released on May 11th, and for those interested in seeing the album performed live, the group is coming to the Pacific Coliseum on October 25th.