ALBUM REVIEW: Arctic Monkeys – Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino
Arctic Monkeys are one of those bands who can really do whatever they want and on their sixth studio album they really show they can do that by pushing the boundaries a little too far. Ditch whatever you are already familiar with about or expect from Arctic Monkey’s because “Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino” is a whole different experience. This concept record explores the impact of the celebrity and how the role of entertainment is a form science fiction because we want to constantly get lost in a different world and characters. Musically they transport you a hotel lobby where the house band are delivering you some melancholy lounge jazz meets space pop-rock. There are moments that are reminiscent to David Bowie, Leonard Cohen and Nick Cave from some of their more experimental discography. But expect to feel like you are on an acid trip with this very strange sound becoming a little monotonous at times. From the opening bars of “Star Treatment” it is instantly notable that this is the most different you have ever heard Arctic Monkeys and it will take you a few listens to decide if you actually like it. There are no tracks that take it back to their indie-rock sound that you know and love nor are there any gritty lyrics about sex, partying or the idea of youth like their previous records. It’s all very conceptual and doesn’t really shy away from letting you know that. It will be interesting to see how their live show incorporates their old material and how their long term fans react to the new musical direction. You can tell that the band really made this record for themselves and they are very unapologetic about it. It’d going to divide a lot of peoples opinions about them and I honestly think that’s what they wanted to do.