Back in 2008, Arctic Monkeys frontman Alex Turner and former Rascals/ Little Flames frontman Miles Kane released The Age of the Understatement, under the band name The Last Shadow Puppets. Eight years later, with Alex taking a break from Arctic Monkeys duties, he and Miles are back with this latest offering, Everything You’ve Come to Expect.
With the Arctic Monkeys currently on hiatus, what better way for Alex Turner to fill his spare time than to reunite with his friend Miles Kane to create a follow up to the hit debut The Age of the Understatement. It came as a surprise to everyone when they released the lead single, ‘Bad Habits’, as it seemed to have strayed away from the classic Last Shadow Puppets sound, dividing critics and fans alike, and causing concern about what the rest of the album would sound like. The possible reason it’s difficult to enjoy this song may be due to Kane’s fairly annoying vocals, or the fact that most the song is just him screaming random words (“Bad Habits! Sick Puppy!”) However, listening to the lyrics, he may just be frustrated at a girl who has wronged him, as you hear him sing bitterly, “should’ve known, little girl that you’d do me wrong,” making a little context that could make the song a little more bearable.
Thankfully, the rest of the album is more like their previous record, with an 80’s vibe, particularly with the opening track ‘Aviation’, and newest single ‘Miracle Aligner’, which sounds almost Bowie-esque. One of the tracks, ‘The Element of Surprise’, even has an instrumental sounding suspiciously like ‘Let’s Dance’. Despite this, it still manages to keep the Puppets sound that fans know and love. Indeed, in recent interviews, the pair had stated that Bowie’s records had helped them bond. The influence can be seen as particularly poignant, seeing as Bowie died earlier this year.
Whilst it is clear that the album had some 80s influences, it is worth noting the more up to date influences as well. These are notably seen on the title track, ‘Everything You’ve Come to Expect’, which has a hint of Mini Mansions about it. This would make sense seeing as Alex had previously featured on the Mini Mansions song ‘Vertigo’, as well as the fact the bassist, Zach Dawes appears on this album.
If you are looking for a more chilled out track, ‘The Dream Synopsis’, is perfect. For critics worried that Turner had forgotten his roots after moving to America, he attempts to prove them wrong by reminiscing about life back home when ‘a wicked gale came howling up through Sheffield city centre.’ Yet, there is still a hint of Americanised Turner, as he also sings about going ‘down Los Feliz’, but the way he tells the story of making his dreams become reality makes up for this.
Compared to the The Age of the Understatement, it is clear that both Alex and Miles have matured from the two shy indie kids that we met back in 2008 to the two fully-fledged rock stars we know today. This change, coupled with the more lustful sounding songs, such as ‘Sweet Dreams, TN’, is everything we had come to expect from the return of The Last Shadow Puppets.
Emma is currently listening to ‘Hymn for the Weekend’ by Coldplay
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