The Arctic Monkeys make their triumphant comeback
Five years after their last album, Arctic Monkeys are still ice-cool with these four standouts on “Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino,” out Friday.
The opener sets the noirish mood for this concept album, ostensibly about some kind of space resort, with Arctic Monkeys as the rockers in residence. Frontman Alex Turner brings just the right amount of lizardry to this loungey affair, setting off his slow-burn stream-of-consciousness with some lyrical flair: “I just wanted to be one of the Strokes/Now look at the mess you made me make/Hitchhiking with a monogrammed suitcase/Miles away from any half useful imaginary highway.”
Gazing down at the “aura over the battleground states” from outer space, this track swirls with some cinematic atmospherics and ’60s psychedelia, sprinkled with a magical coating of Ziggy Stardust glitter that brings Bowie back from the Great Beyond.
Taking the sinister tone of the band’s hit “Do I Wanna Know?” — from their last album, 2013’s platinum “AM” — to even darker places, this song concocts a twisted fantasy that body-slams the president: “The leader of the free world reminds you of a wrestler wearing tight golden trunks.”
“Four Out of Five”
Packing some Stonesy soul, this track — about a well-rated “taqueria on the moon” — bumps and rumbles with a funky bass line as Turner’s layered vocals float in the heavens above it. Relying, as they do throughout the LP, more on the piano for instrumental inspiration instead of the usual guitar, these Monkeys show that they’re not afraid to evolve.
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