Arctic Monkeys: Humbug
Arctic Monkeys are one of the most hyped bands that ever hit the music scene. Ever since the fantastic album Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not dropped, this bands has been touring, recording and creating music non-stop. So it came has no surprise when Favourite Worst Nightmare dropped in 2007, nearly only one year after their debut. In two years, the Arctic Monkeys achieved what most bands can’t achieve in 8 or 9 years. They managed to have two albums that were both commercially and critically successful.
Now, two years after their last album, the band comes back with Humbug, in hopes to achieve the same success they had two years ago.
Humbug is an album that disappointed me. I’ve always liked the Arctic Monkeys because they offered me something that other modern rock bands can’t offer: Thrilling rock songs with mind-blowing lyrics and stupendous vocals. But Humbug feels more like an experiment rather than an actual album. The Monkeys sound tired, and songs that would play at neck-breaking speeds are now replaced by more methodical rock songs, that neither emulate the melodies that Oasis delivers or the energy that The Rolling Stones have always managed to put in their songs. Songs like ‘Fire and the Thud’ and ‘Dance Little Liar’ can sound interesting in the beginning, but after two or three listens, they sound quite boring and uninteresting. It’s a problem that the Arctic Monkeys never had in the past, but it is a constant problem in this record.
But while they sound tired most of the CD, they actually achieve to sound refreshing in some songs. ‘Crying Lightning’ is a fantastic song, with clever lyrics and a good pace. It clearly is a contender for best song of 2009. Other songs like ‘Cornerstone’ and ‘The Jeweller’s Hands’ see Arctic Monkeys expanding their sound, proving to be a more versatile band than most of the bands in the mainstream now.
Lyrically and vocally, the album is quite better, and it racks up with what we are used to of Alex Turner. Witty comments on the society of today, carried on by his fantastic voice. It’s what we come to expect from him, which is always good thing.
Humbug is, undoubtedly, so far, AT’s worst album. It is understandable as it is rather an experience than a solid album, but there isn’t just enough energy behind these rockers to make this album an incredible collection of 11 songs.