Arctic Monkeys - Humbug (August 24, 2009)

You have been waiting for this album for too long and now you have it. What do you think about it?

It hasn’t been a month since the release of Humbug but there is a huge buzz around the new image and sound of Arctic Monkeys. But let’s see why it was such a big surprise for everyone.

The first impressions I got when first heard Humbug:

  • They have a new sound.
  • They are darker.
  • There is no energy.

But... listening again and again I realised that everything is in its right place.

  • Yes, they have a new sound and of course they needed it. This is the band’s 3rd album and if it sounded like the previous ones, would it be original? I don’t think they changed their sound, it’s just an evolution. They are getting older (f**k, Alex is the same age as me! :D) and sounding the same would mean no progress if not even regress!
  • Darker? Are you sure? Have a listen to the previous ones again.. For example, If You Were There Beware. Well, it was not an obvious red line in the albums but it WAS there. Now it’s spread all over the album. Another era in Arctic Monkeys discography. No more teenager songs! Well, it’s sad at one point, but it’s getting interested. I would call this album a bit psycho..
  • There is no energy: this was the first impression I got listening to Crying Lightning. But when I got the whole album, I realized that there IS energy but in a different way. It’s hidden far behind and you have to search for it to get it! It’s not in the tempo, drums, guitars or vocals any more. It’s hidden in the whole record: you can feel it in your subconsciousness. Weird, huh? J

What scares me more in the album is the intimacy of the lyrics, like Cornerstone. The whole album is a story of a person who is lost in everything and just watches what other people are doing and remembering everything to put in the songs later. Sometimes the watcher reminds me of a ghost or a high guy. Did you notice the similarity of Potion Approaching to Very Ape of Nirvana? Weird, weird, weird.. Can't make this tought go away! And the ballads are very touchy like Fire And The Thud.

In one word, this is a real cornerstone in Arctic Monkeys discography. They did it the right time and in a right way. They changed everything, beginning from Alex’s hairstyle finishing on the music concept. And we have to listen to it yet too much to get it fully. For me it's not enough yet! It’s a pity the album isn’t a dance floor hit but it’s in my playlist every day!

Yours truly


Manu said...

I am just crazy for Alex's vocal in Fire and the's totally killing!