I’ve been an Arctic Monkeys fan for years, so obviously I jumped at the chance to check out anything that Alex Turner was involved in, but this new project is something special.
“Everything You’ve Come To Expect” went straight to number one on the U.K. charts and satisfied hungry Arctic fans who’ve been anxious since the 2013 alternative smash-hit “AM.” Although the new album doesn’t carry the same pop-rock groove as “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?” or “R U Mine?” it still possesses the same captivating quality Turner’s music has made itself known for.
Miles Kane on the other hand, has enjoyed more solo success than his band has seen. Most of The Rascals’ popular songs have a few hundred thousand views on YouTube while his independent release “Don’t Forget Who You Are” has 3.5 million hits. Kane’s 2011 solo work peaked at no. 11 on the U.K. charts while The Rascals’ debut, “Rascalize,” barely scratched the surface, clutching the 100th spot.
The Rascals, primarily active from 2007 to 2009, reminded me a little bit of The Struts, with an obvious classic rock influence. On his own, Kane softened up and started to sound more like an indie artist. “Colour of the Trap” is a distinctly un-Rascals-like ballad that he penned with Turner, showcasing his depth as a songwriter and proving the two could still make a splash.
“Patterns” is a stylistic masterpiece, composed of everything that’s right with hard-hitting undertones and blaring instrumentals. “Miracle Aligner” is a standout on the album. Emulating the eerie tone of The Rascals’ “Freakbeat Phantom,” it’s also a nod to Turner’s edgy storytelling approach utilized on some of Arctic’s older tracks like “Reckless Serenade.” “Sweet Dreams, TN” is the most simplistic of the tracks, but it carries a strong theme as to how they wanted the record to be received; it’s music for modern rock fans, and it’s not trying to wear any other hat.
“Used To Be My Girl” really strikes a chord with me. I have a greater appreciation for songs with lyrics that make you recall precise feelings. The lines “first impressions of the century / two-way mirror, one-way street” and “my heart melted in the heat like yours” stayed with me for a while. The cool thing about Turner’s writing is that it can be interpreted in so many different ways, and I think that’s how he relates to such a variety of people. Arctic has a huge U.S. fan-base among angsty teens, but also classic rock lovers. Kane and Turner are both notably well-received in the U.K.
“Everything You’ve Come to Expect” is a step up from the last we heard of The Shadow Puppets' 2008 release “The Age of the Understatement” with a hand from producer, James Ford, and session musician, Zach Dawes. The eight-year hiatus was well worth it; the new record cuts deeper spiritually and musically.
The Last Shadow Puppets joined many others in an effort to bring back rock 'n' roll music. Bands such as Cage the Elephant are bringing back the swagger, while The Black Keys are investing in the blues roots. The 1975 is adding a damaged pop-flare, and blink-182’s comeback is resonating with the pop-punk crowd, while The Kills and Arctic Monkeys are reeling in the Indie audience.
If records like “Everything You’ve Come To Expect” continue to have a platform, there may be hope for rock 'n' roll after all.
Halle Weber is a freshman studying journalism with a focus in news and information at Ohio University. What is your favorite Arctic Monkey's song? Email your answers to her at firstname.lastname@example.org