I was so excited when I heard that Josh Homme is going to produce the new album of the Arctic Monkeys and the first single “crying lightning” was just like that (except the good-crappy video), exciting, with the guitars in the front and some great climax towards the end.
However, weirdly enough, the album never got into heavy rotation on my playlists. Somehow other albums where more urgent at the time and although I listened to “Humbug” quite a few times, it never took off for me.
BUT that doesn’t mean that it’s not good and it doesn’t mean that I won’t love it in the future because I experienced the same thing with Incubus and Qotsa because there is a time and a place for dark and brooding alternative music and summer 2009 apparently was not it for me.
Crying Lightning (the video has to be ironic, it just has to be)
However, as opposed as quite a few fans where because of the sudden rough sound of the Monkeys, it suits them well, even though sometimes you hear a little bit too Josh Homme-influence in it (this trend of hearing the producer on the album as much as the band is in my opinion rather bad, after all, a producer’s work should be to make the band sound as best as possible but not to swerve them into a generic direction of his other productions).
But there is still enough of the charming young men left on “Humbug” and all in all it’s a monster of an album, the opener “My Propeller” alone is sexy, dangerous and mysterious (well, as mysterious as the metaphor “propeller” for a dong can get).
Since “Favourite Worst Nightmare” and Alex’ side project the Last Shadow Puppets, their liking for a mundane sound of the 50s/60s has made their music luring like the bad boy in jeans and leather jackets leaning against a random brickwall. And their softer moments (“Cornerstone”) are sweet and cheeky as ever.
Cornerstone (we have a saying in Germany that goes “nothing can deface a beautiful person”, I think we find that oversized headphones and this jumper can indeed)
I don’t have to say anything about the lyrics, do I? Alex Turner keeps his reputation for one of the clever new songwriters up it’s probably only a matter of time until he will publish his first novel and we will love it just as every other thing he does.