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REVIEW: Arctic Monkeys groove in ‘Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino’

Arctic Monkeys return with a beautifully crafted cool, melancholic, and grooving LP Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino

It has been five years since Arctic Monkeys released their smash hit record AM. Quite a long time for a popular group to go without releasing any new material. However, the wait is now over and the band’s sixth studio album Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino is here to break the silence.

Do not go into this thinking this will just be a continuation of what was heard on AM. Where Arctic Monkeys in more recent times have been known for tunes that get people up on their feet and dancing, Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino slows things down a great deal.

It has this overarching slow, grooving, and somewhat melancholic and lonely vibe about it. Kind of similar in certain respects to The Black Keys‘s 2014 release Turn Blue, but with more layered and complex song writing and more profound and well crafted lyrics.

This record seems to take all of the best elements of Pink FloydDavid Bowie, and The Beatles and roll them into one meticulously crafted piece of musical art.

In a way it is similar to some of the tracks on Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here in terms of being laid back, deep bass and drum centric with keyboard and guitar accents with haunting vocals that chill to the bone.

Some of the more Beatles-esque moments happen in tunes like “She Looks Like Fun” where there is still that mellow atmosphere, but still spritely keys and buzzy treble driven guitar.

Alex Turner uses a vocal style in the entirety of Tranquility Base that seems VERY Bowie-esque. It has the same dry, thin on the edges, baritone characteristic that the pop sensation possessed. The lyrical style also is not that far different either.

Going in without knowing this was an Arctic Monkeys record would easily be able to sway someone into thinking it was unreleased David Bowie material. Moments where this is especially prevalent is in songs like “Batphone” and “Star Treatment”.

Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino is certainly one of the best albums to come out this year so far. It is clear that there was a great deal of time, thought, passion, soul, and effort put into each and every last one of the tracks. The wait was certainly well worth it.

The vibe stays the same throughout the entire record, but it does so in a way where it flows extremely well from one track to the next in a way that makes it feel more like a single grand experience rather than just a compilation of songs.

Rating: 4.25/5

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Listen: Arctic Monkeys Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino

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