One of the world’s most popular indie bands have made a comeback. Arctic Monkeys have released their sixth studio album, Tranquillity Base Hotel & Casino, and here in the UK it caused a minor standstill, particularly in the world of us millennials.
The Sheffield-born foursome that formed back in 2002 have since stolen the hearts of adolescents and young adults across the globe with their signature indie style. Classics such as “I Bet That You Look Good on the Dancefloor” and “Mardy Bum” pretty much wrote the soundtrack to my three years at university, any student in the UK will agree. You can’t go to a student night and not encounter at least one Arctic Monkeys song.
When word got round that the Monkeys where planning on releasing a new album, my expectations, as well as the majority of their fans, was that it would be yet another Arctic Monkeys-style collection of indie tunes.
I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised when I first had a listen to their sixth album. I had heard rather mixed reviews on this piece; many of which weren’t too pleased with the new release. Or in more realistic words, “it’s shit.” I, however, beg to differ.
Rather than the Monkeys steering in the same direction that they’ve been taking for the duration of their career, they’ve in fact made a swift and drastic change. It’s true what I’ve heard in the sense that Tranquillity… “doesn’t sound like the Arctic Monkeys,” but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Initially composed on a piano by frontman Alex Turner, the songs steer away from the indie rock roots and give the band a much more alternative and experimental vibe. Unearthing roots from Turner’s side-project with the Last Shadow Puppets, Tranquillity… brings us a collection of cosmic pop that takes the band to daring new places.
The album opens with a tantalisingly delicate piece that is Star Treatment, instantly plunging listeners into the band’s new sound. Of course, the unmistakable voice of Alex Turner will never change. But his tone certainly has, slowing down the tempos and dragging out the notes. It’s a highly refreshing change for the Monkeys, and I can imagine many will agree with this opinion.
The title track appears to be the beating heart of the album. The pairing of electronic sounds with the classic indie beat truly define the entire notion of this album, alongside “Four Out of Five” and “Batphone” with their eerie similarities.
All in all, Tranquillity Base Hotel & Casino is a marvelous production from Arctic Monkeys. Leaning away from the roots that they’re known for may have been a risky move, but it was a move that has created a brand new image and overall sound for them which, I must say, is a step in the right direction.