‘Everything You’ve Come To Expect’, or is it? I’d like to start by saying that I like The Last Shadow Puppets and their first album ‘The Age Of The Understatement’ has been an album that I’ve listened to many a time. So when I heard they were reforming again, naturally I was excited and was extremely looking forward to it, but now that the album has finally come out, in all honesty I was disappointed, it’s just extremely lacking the flare and originality the first album delivered and it’s a real shame.
But never the less, we’ll start with the positives and talk about the songs I do like; ‘Aviation’, is just all in all a fantastic song, the strings opening instantly was reminiscent of The Last Shadow Puppets I know, it literally boiled my excitement instantly until I was then met with the overly catchy and repeating guitar riff and I was like yes, this is what I like! This song has me singing along every time and the music video also ain’t bad.
‘Miracle Aligner’ is so catchy that the first time I heard it I was singing the chorus constantly in my head for, you know what I can’t even recall how long, but again another brilliant song that’s at the beginning of the album, as it directly follows ‘Aviation’. I think the reason I like this song so much is because it reminds me of ‘Humbug’ which is by far my favourite Arctic Monkeys album, it’s the absolute gem of the album in my eyes.
Then we come to ‘Used To Be My Girl’, this particularly stood out to me during the later stages of the album. The opening riff and the way the vocals are implemented at the beginning instantly caught my attention, with the verse then developing to have a very interesting arrangement followed with an insanely mesmerising guitar riff afterwards. The song remains just as good throughout, until it unfortunately has to end.
I found that the album started phenomenally until I suddenly forgot I was still listening to it by the end, with the exception of ‘Used To Be My Girl’ which peaked my excitement again. I just remember hearing the strings intro to ‘Aviation’ again and thought when did the album even end? The album definitely feels short, which in this case is a good thing, due to the fact there are only three songs I really care about, but that also kind of highlights how much of a disappointment it was really.
Don’t get me wrong the album is lyrically amazing at times and has lots of catchy chorus’ and all that, but that’s just what we’ve all come to expect (see what I did there?) from front man Alex Turner, like he’s an amazing songwriter and I’m not knocking that in this review, I just don’t think some of the other songs are that great. The only thing I can think of is that maybe Alex Turner had more control over the first album, but with this one we’ve had more of and input from Miles Kane, which in turn has really brought the album down.
I really wanted to enjoy this album more than I currently have, as I absolutely adored the first album and have listened to it countless times on repeat, but unfortunately I didn’t. The album overall though seems to be held together by a minority of great songs, whereas with the first album there wasn’t even a single weak song, maybe they just set the bar too high, I don’t know. Although I do have to say on a more positive note, even the weaker songs do occasionally have a pleasant and well executed orchestral flare along with some good solid chorus’ here and there, but sometimes it’s just not enough once combined with all the other elements that make a song, for me to categorise them as very good at all. I’d say it’s filled with average and good songs, but just not ones that are exceptionally great.
These three songs that I did like do make me wish I could give this album higher than 6.5, but I just wasn’t taken in by that much of the rest of it, yeah I like the other singles like ‘Bad Habits’ and ‘Everything You’ve Come To Expect’, but are they amazing? No, not especially. I think that’s the main problem with this album, its good and at some points amazing, but as a whole it doesn’t blow me out of the water like ‘The Age The Understatement’ did.
Maybe it’ll grow on me.