18/10/2018: “Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino” by Arctic Monkeys

The Arctic Monkeys really pushed the boat out with their 2018 album Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino. It’s a more ambitious work than a lot of what they’ve done previously, and is less heavy rock.

It was mostly written by frontman Alex Turner on his piano in his Los Angeles mansion, in a kind of downtempo lounge music style.

As a sign of Turner’s new mature sophistication, the whole thing is meant to be holding a lens up to consumerist society through idea of a hotel on the moon. Very deep…

The song itself is a jazzy, easy going affair, with a relaxed breakbeat drum section, a agile bassline, and a riff shared between a piano and a synth in a beautiful fusion. I particular love the bassy synth that kicks in at about 1 minute 20, which adds a dark undertone to the piece.

Turner’s crooning is a world away from his early Sheffield droning; I don’t know how I feel about that, but his lyricism is certainly more mature. There is, as I’ve seen a few reviewers suggest, more than a little bit of Bowie here, both in the sounds of the album and the cryptic layers of the lyrics.

The song was released as the second single of the album but is also going to be available as a 7″ single in a month or so, which is cool!

Gives me hope for the future of music…


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