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The album artwork has not been included in this post for reasons relating to its stupidity and shortage of “art”. My first impression of this album came from “Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair” which is highlighted by the idiodicy of the title that is very deliberately annunciated throughout the track. Following up from “Humbug” which was my least favourite album which Alex Turner was involved in writing, not to suggest that the album was poor, just that it didn’t strike me as his other works had.

“She’s Thunderstorms” continues this this annoyance relating to lyrics which seem lacking in direction yet appear be emphasised through the vocal with “She’s Thunderstorms” almost being looped. The song is a gentle way to open the album with strong connections to Last Shaddow Puppets sound coming through and this all seems to be a little blurred where one band starts and the other ends. This is not how I would ever have picture the Monkeys opening an album pre LSP however it’s a nice track. The concept is quite simple, but the execution is very elegant.

I can’t say that I know what a “Black Treacle” is and I refuse to waste thirty seconds googling either (maybe I did).  This is a song that has grown on me a little, but it just seems to drag with no visible sentiment or emotion being involked. The guitar work seems bland and the drumming took the day off during recording on that day. “Brick by Brick” finally starts talking some sense to me. The tempo changes through the song and the drums actually make a contribution. There is finally a sense that the music is challenging my ear and the boys finally introduce us to a fun 70’s inspired and interesting song. There is a strong QOTSA vibe that grows the more that you listen to this track, especially in the deep backing vocal used.

“The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala” once again confuses the borders of Monkeys and Last Shaddow Puppets while reintroducing us to some checky little bass work and more meaningful drumming although the song does get a little lost in the middle. It displays the best song writing of any track on the album with Turner using several different vocal techniques through the song to entice us to sing along and support from some percussion which has been well thought out. This is followed by the most drab and boring song on the album which I would prefer it if it didn’t  draw any further attention from this review.

“Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair”,  sorry but I must reinterate that this is probably one of the oddest track names/lyrics used in recent times. It’s really hard for me to get past the vocal on this song and I have really tried and for a band who were lyrically one of the absolute best through “Whatever People Say” and “Favourite Worst Nightmare” with tracks like “Yellow Bricks” and “Mardy Bum”, take your pick basically. This is an ok song musically it’s just too distracting lyrically and vocally it is dull. “Library Pictures’ takes us on a journey back to where I remember these chaps residing back in 2006. There is a real bleakness to the song and the guitars are alive for the first time on the album, however the countdown in the song should never have been allowed. The song is short and sharp yet suceeds in delivering a strong message.

“Reckless Serenade” and “All My Own Stunts” fail to introduce anything new or exciting and I am just left waiting for something to happen and by this stage songs are starting to all feel  the same, with the exception of “Piledriver Waltz” I am left looking for something to grab hold of but am finding myself cluthing at thin air. There is just too much emphasis on the vocal and it is not doing anything for me. Personally many of my favourite Monkeys songs were the ones with big, juicy bass riffs and drumming that had me bashing my stearing wheel out of shape. There are no film clips centred on drumming (The View From The Afternoon) coming from this album.

I have read through NME’s review to see if maybe I was a little harsh and to be honest it was a rather pompous in it’s attempt to tell me that I was not sophisticated enough to appreciate the sound or the use of big words like “paean” to try and make feel little. I shouldn’t need a thesaurus and the song lyrics printed out to understand the intensions of the song writer. I honestly don’t know the lyrics to many of my favourite artists well known tracks yet I can get what the song is about and I don’t get that here or from NME.

http://www.nme.com/reviews/arctic-monkeys/12113

What I don’t like about this album and “Humbug” is that they have extracted the edge from the soul of the vocal by slowing it down. There is enough song writing ability in Turner’s big toe to sink five ships to make it work on the odd occasion however without an understanding of what made them the voice of a large portion of young males with their witty lyrics and edgy tones. 2011 Arctic Monkeys would never write a song about fake tales or vampires in bars and it is that raw emotion which is missing and also what made them what they were (others may argue: are). If I am feeling nostalgic in a pub in ten years time and put a few dollars in the jukebox, I highly doubt that any of these songs would get selected over any song off the first two albums. If you like the clip I have added then you will probably disagree with me.

ALBUM RATING: One for the bandwagonners….Do me a favour and stop flattering yourself

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