ARCTIC MONKEYS - Humbug CD Review - www.impulsegamer.com -
ARCTIC MONKEYS
Humbug

 

Review Information

Reviewer: David Murcott
Review Date: October 2010

CD Information

Label: Domino
Running Time:

7.0

out of 10

 

 

Fresh from headlining stints at the Reading and Leeds festivals, Arctic Monkeys return with their highly anticipated third album, which like its predecessors shot straight to the number 1 spot on the UK charts.   

On initial listens one is instantly struck by the fact Humbug is a markedly more atmospheric affair than anything the band have released thus far.  The youthful exuberance of their first two records hasn’t disappeared entirely, but frontman Alex Turner seems to have discarded the boyish persona of Whatever People Say I Am... in favour of the lovelorn and slightly world-weary vocal delivery prevalent on standout tracks like ‘Crying Lightning’ and ‘Dance Little Liar’.  And he pulls it off admirably.  

Possibly as a result of having none other than Josh Homme co-producing, Humbug is chock full of slightly sleazy mid-tempo paeans to lost love and infatuation.  Many, like ‘Cornerstone’, contain a palpable sense of longing: ‘She held me very tightly until I asked awfully politely/Please can I call you her name?’  ‘Dangerous Animals’ also contains a riff that wouldn’t have been out of place on 2007s Favourite Worst Nightmare, though its slightly desperate refrain ‘I’m pinned down by the dark’ shows a more insular slant to Turner’s songwriting that stands in contrast to the raucous energy of bygone classics like ‘I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor’.  He proves his usual deft touch on the lyrical front however, which wards off the claustrophobia and leaves each of the album’s ten songs a poetic and multi-layered affair rewarding of repeat listens.              

Though darker and less immediate than the band’s first two releases, Humbug is nonetheless a convincing, deceptively tuneful effort that proves once and for all that Arctic Monkeys are in for the long haul.  They might be all growned up, and fans expecting songs about overzealous bouncers and drinking in the park may be mildly disappointed, but damn can they throw a decent tune together. 






 
 



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