Q MagazineMay 8, 2018It's a strange, wonderful album, one that almost feels like Arctic Monkeys have embarked on their own full-band side-project. [Jul 2018, p.106]
May 11, 2018The words themselves are glorious, as frequently absurd and brilliantly imaginative as some of the best sci-fi writers--Arthur C Clarke, Philip K Dick, HG Wells--while the instrumentation recalls their cinematic adaptations, or classic superhero cartoons.
May 11, 2018Though Turner may be sardonic to a fault, making it difficult to determine where the snark ends and genuine sentiment begins, the album is audacious in its conceptual conceit, challenging expectations established through the boozy nightlife anthems of the band's earlier work with an experimental approach that's contemplative and unrepentantly abstruse.
May 11, 2018An album like no other. Designated in deep space, this thrilling new album provides the band with a diverse catalogue of music and itsAn album like no other. Designated in deep space, this thrilling new album provides the band with a diverse catalogue of music and its dramatic switch shows that the boys have moved on from tracky suits and grey adidas socks to something more.. mature.… Expand
May 17, 2018This is different but man is this awesome. This is an album that requires multiple listens. First time through for me I was so/so on it. ButThis is different but man is this awesome. This is an album that requires multiple listens. First time through for me I was so/so on it. But it's been on repeat for a few days now and I realized it's incredible. Every time through I've uncovered new things, be it interesting lyrics or new details in the songs I missed the first time through. Definitely don't sleep on this one.… Expand
May 11, 2018In a time when most mainstream rock bands tend to stay popular with their fan-bases by sitting safely in the comfort zone of self-parody andIn a time when most mainstream rock bands tend to stay popular with their fan-bases by sitting safely in the comfort zone of self-parody and redundancy, the Arctic Monkeys could have easily made a “triumphant return” after a long hiatus by bringing out Any Of Our Other Albums, Version 2.0, but they instead release a record that almost makes most of their prior discography seem like a run-up before the jump. Taking sounds previously only briefly explored on songs like Love Is A Laserquest and The Jeweller’s Hands, the band draws further inspiration from the likes of David Bowie, Nick Cave, The Beach Boys, Leonard Cohen, and Marvin Gaye, to craft their most layered album to date, Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino - an outing that’s equal parts fun and grating. This is not an immediate experience by any means, the definition of a true grower.
The all-analog production of the record fits it like a glove and helps elevate the band’s performances. Matt Helders’s drumming is so carefully crafted and precise, that you can’t help but wonder if he had been practicing playing jazz in his spare time. Some of the fills he came up with are played in such a way, that they almost sound chopped, a kind of a strange reversal of hip-hop sampling. Nick O’Malley’s bass is so thick and sweet throughout that you can practically taste it, as no Monkey’s record before this one has sounded as rich in groove. Guitars are not as omnipresent on Tranquility Base as they were on their previous albums, yet when Jamie Cook inevitably makes his sometimes brief appearances (as a guitarist that is, as he also plays lap-steel and Organ on some songs), he always makes them count, as they never fail to elevate the songs. The piano and synths, as played by Alex Turner, are integrated so uniquely and with such novelty, that only a guitarist who suddenly decided to write an album on piano could have come up with it. Perhaps the best decision still was made by the band’s long-time collaborator, producer James Ford, who opted to use Alex Turner’s original home demos of lead vocals, instead of re-recording them in a professional studio setting. As a result Turner has never sounded as diverse, captivating, and emotionally resonant: from the suffocated falsetto on the title track and melodic declamation on Star Treatment, to the more immediately powerful open singing on the album’s closing track and Batphone.
What the songs on the album may be lacking in radio-friendly catchy choruses (albeit there are plenty of immediately memorable hooks of other nature), they more than make up for in instantly quotable lyrics. Alex Turner rather cleverly avoids making any grand political statements or pseudo-intellectual commentary, spearing the listener of the idiocy that so many other songwriters who attempt to tackle such subject matter don’t seem to have the common decency to do. “Trust the politics to come along/When you were just trying to orbit the sun/When you were just about to be kind to someone because you had the chance”, the audibly disheartened Turner sings on The Ultracheese. Filled to the brim with lyrics ranging from mission statements (“I want to make a simple point about peace and love/But in a sexy way where it’s not obvious/Highlight dangers and send out hidden messages/The way some science fiction does” from Science Fiction) and autobiographical confessions (“I just wanted to be one of The Strokes/Now look at the mess you made me make/Hitchhiking with a monogrammed suitcase/Miles away from any half-useful imaginary highway” from Star Treatment), to clever one-liners (“So when you gaze at planet earth from outer space, does it wipe that stupid look off of your face"” from American Sports) and charmingly goofy pleas (“Pull me in close on a crisp eve baby/Kiss me underneath the moon's side boob” from the title track). If it seems like Turner comes off more like a sixty-year-old with some of the stream of consciousness ramblings about modern technology, social media, gentrification and “imaginative advertisement” than a thirty-year-old that he is, that’s because that absolutely is the case, and the lyrics and their delivery are all the better and more fun for it.
The point of no return, Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino is bound to become at the very least a career-changing album, perhaps even their magnum opus. Following the release of Humbug nearly nine years ago (“doesn’t time fly"”) Nick O’Malley said: “Now we can do anything we want!”. Perhaps that wasn’t the case just yet back then, it certainly is now.… Expand
May 12, 2018Definitely an interesting listen. The lyrics are cryptic and often time feels a bit off the music weaves in and out of melodic tunes toDefinitely an interesting listen. The lyrics are cryptic and often time feels a bit off the music weaves in and out of melodic tunes to weirdly disjointed drums.… Expand
May 11, 2018An expected album sincerely. AM was a transition album, IMO. This one is just the confirmation of the new Arctic Monkeys. With a strongerAn expected album sincerely. AM was a transition album, IMO. This one is just the confirmation of the new Arctic Monkeys. With a stronger influence by Alex Turner, no doubt about that.… Expand
May 11, 2018Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino is a highly creative and experimental album that doesn't know which audience it is catered too.
As someoneTranquility Base Hotel + Casino is a highly creative and experimental album that doesn't know which audience it is catered too.
As someone who is new to the Arctic Monkeys experience, I was expecting a similar sound to their highly reputable "AM" album, but I didn't get that, all I got were out of place sci-fi sounds and a heavy voice that wasn't appealing at all.… Expand
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