Words by Steve Melone
After a lengthy waiting period, The Last Shadow Puppets released their sophomore album, Everything You’ve Come to Expect on April 1st via Domino Records. It’s been eight years since the debut album was released from Arctic Monkeys’ Alex Turner, and Rascals’ Miles Kane. The collaboration between the two is prone to continue this stop-and-go pattern between other projects, since the two are musically attached to each other.
The dreary and dark opening of “Aviation” gives listeners a feel of what to expect when going on this baroque pop journey that is a divergence from the more expected and typical pop music that’s churned out so formulaically. Add to that the string arrangements that paint such vivid, reactive yet harrowing moments, and you have a recipe for an original musical work worth checking out. Owen Pallet gives the album its juice with those touches and dashes of string – without them the album would likely feel flat and lifeless.
Fans of the Arctic Monkeys will find the same voice they’ve come to love from Alex Turner, though here it may be more romanticized than usual, but just as seductive in demeanor. That’s likely due to the vibes of 60’s and 70’s bluesy soul that drips in to the heart of the album.
Some of the great songs to check out are “Aviation”, “Miracle Aligner”, “Dracula Teeth” and the more punk-infused “Bad Habits”. There are a lot of great moments to hear on this record, though it can get a little tiring and redundant at times as the pace can become slow in certain moments. Lyrics tend to fall without much meaning and insincerity here and there. “Sweet Dreams, TN” mixes that 60’s/70s soul with overly mundane lyrics that just takes away from what could be an otherwise great song, “It’s just the pits without you baby, it’s like everyone’s a dick without you baby.”
Much of the album shows something deeper while holding onto simplicity that’s more reminiscent of older songwriting. “What’s the wish, he’ll make it come true, simple as a Doo Wop tune,” (Miracle Aligner). Other songs like, “Bad Habits” have more aggressive tones that cut in and out aiming to make you almost uncomfortable, as though something is off kilter creeping towards you, again feelings that come about due to those beautiful string arrangements.
Don’t come into this record with any expectations, Everything You’ve Come to Expect, is not what you would expect, seriously. It’s sporadic, surprising and full of style. Definitely worth a spin.
‘Everything You’ve Come to Expect’
© April 1st, 2016
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