Album Reviews: Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino – Arctic Monkeys

My journey with the Arctic Monkeys is one that has come a long way. In order to best review their latest album which is also their sixth album (crazy to think seeing as though their first one came out which feels like yesterday) I must first explain this journey as it will help bring context to the review.

When the Arctic Monkeys released their first album way back in 2005, I was in my final year of high school. At the time I was in a reggae/ska band but I was struggling to find the genre of music that was most appealing to me. When I heard their music for the first time, I was shocked and disgusted as I couldn’t believe this is what people were so hyped up about. I was an angry teenager looking for an identity and the fact that the cool kids loved it, made me hate even more to the point where I outright refused to listen to their music as well as anything that was remotely associated or linked to the “indie” music genre at the time.

Fast forward a few years later and I found myself baldness looking for my next endeavor. I was still lost musically, searching for what type of music I liked. An ad was posted online by an indie band looking for a musician and I seemed to fit the description very well (minus the fact that I didn’t know anything about indie music or listened to it). I found myself joining the band and having to throw myself balls deep in indie music to make sure I could write in that style.

This brought me back to the Arctic Monkeys where I forced myself to start listening to their discography from start to finish. This was round about the same time as AM came out. I was blown away by their music once again but the first time I was disgusted, this time I was disgusted with myself for being disgusted at their music way back in 2005. I became an instant fan of the Arctic Monkeys and have never looked back since

Having listened to their discography up until AM in 2013, I was impressed and loved the progression of their albums. They all led up to AM being one of the best albums I’ve ever heard. And I’m pretty sure most of the world agrees. So after they toured AM and took a long break, the anticipation for their new 2018 album was massive to say the very least. I too was excited as hell to hear what they’ve been brewing for the last couple of years in the studio.

When speculation came out about Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino being almost like a solo album for Alex Turner, I was very disappointed as I’m always a big fan of “band first”. But, as I try and always do with new albums, I try and respect artist growth and progression and give the album a good number of listens before I draw my conclusion.

My Initial Reaction To Arctic Monkeys Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino

I put the album on after work whilst relaxing in my bed, I had headphones on and had just smoked a joint to get into the vibe of the album. My immediate reaction was the same as everyone, “wow this is not what I expected at all”. After a few minutes in, my next thought was, “This is the perfect album to listen to when relaxing”. Unlike most of the bangers Arctic Monkeys have made, their new 2018 album takes on a much slower and relaxed vibe. Almost as if they were a hotel and casino lobby band. My initial reaction wasn’t great but it wasn’t horrible Either

How I Think The New Album Sounds

The album sounds really good, seems to have been mixed really well and provides some interesting sounds. The song structures don’t seem to follow typical verse chorus, verse chorus bridge progressions but sometimes I feel like I get lost in the song and I don’t know what is the verse, chorus and bridge etc. This is not necessarily a bad thing as it makes for some interesting listening.

My Favorite Songs On The Album

My ultimate favorite new Arctic Monkeys song is “Four out of Five”. Everything about the song is incredible and I absolutely love it. Whilst Arctic Monkeys were the quintessential British band, I feel this album takes on a much more American feel which is something I find quite hard to explain. The title track, Tranquillity Base Hotel and Casino is also one of my favorite songs on the album,m. Other than those two songs, I have yet to come across another favorite.

Final Thoughts

It is a good album and one that is interesting and will be the album people will talk about the most when it comes to the Arctic Monkeys discography. The truth is that I don’t get excited to listen to this album, besides for “four stars out of five” there is nothing much to write home about for me. There are people out there who know absolutely nothing about music saying stupid things about this album after a day of being released like, “appreciate it for its genius”. Well I think those people are silly as you really have to give an album multiple listens to get into properly and understand everything about it. It is so rare to listen to an entire album first time and be completely impressed right off the bat. Those are the one in a million albums which come around every now and then, such as AM. But, I don’t think Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino make it into that elite club of “one of those albums”. I think it will sit on the shelf as being a good album but that is about it I think.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

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