Arctic Monkeys: Humbug (Domino) 

When Humbug's first single—the plodding, spacey sorta-ballad "Crying Lightning"—was released, I was underwhelmed. Having fallen in love with the Arctic Monkeys, especially Alex Turner's sassy coo, with their debut album, 2006's Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not, and then again with Favourite Worst Nightmare the very next year, I'd been eagerly awaiting album no. 3.

"Crying Lightning" just didn't seem like a very exciting offering—and I felt the same way about the Monkeys' latest as a whole. At least initially.

After a few complete listens, Humbug begins to coalesce in some unexpected ways, but it may take some effort to make the initial connection. It's a teenage album, blistering with bits of heartbreak, a deep nostalgic twinge and a dirty-mindedness that's alternately coy and direct. Mostly gone is the rockier side the Monkeys have indulged previously, though hints remain on tracks like "Potion Approaching" and "Pretty Visitors." But the softer side takes over on songs like "Cornerstone" and "Secret Door," calling to mind some of Squeeze's finer moments: a breezy, wistful funk-pop.

It all suggests the soundtrack to the band's own retro-prom fantasy. Most of the songs—especially "Secret Door"—are perfectly suited to the awkward slow-dancing that a prom evening invites, interspersed with quick bursts of adrenaline. This is the Monkeys at their most sincere and plaintive, and if you're not too cynical to follow them in this new direction, Humbug should make your heart skip a beat or two.

More by Sean Bottai


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

The Range

Boris Blows Your Mind (and the Rest of Your Body) Away

Laughing Stock: Odd as Ever; Ever Laughable

The Weekly List: 24 Things To Do In Tucson This Week

More »

Latest in Rhythm & Views

  • Rhythm & Views

    American Monoxide “In Flight Mode” (People In A Position To Know)
    • Dec 18, 2014
  • Rhythm & Views

    Wight Lhite “Beyond the Satellites” (Paisley Shirt Records)
    • Dec 11, 2014
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Vintage Vinyl

    Frozen Sun “Got to Get Away”/ “Jamm Part 1” Capt. Zoomar Records, FC6902, 1969
    • Oct 12, 2017
  • Know Your Product!

    Stars Pick Their Top 5! This week: Trackstar the DJ
    • Oct 5, 2017
  • More »

Facebook Activity

© 2017 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation