It’s been eight full years since the duo of Alex Turner and Miles Kane came out with their first album, The Age of the Understatement. That’s a long time. When it came out in 2008, The Age of the Understatement received due attention, mainly because of Turner’s success with the Arctic Monkeys. Since their first album as The Last Shadow Puppets, however, the two musicians have become more popular in their separate spheres. The Arctic Monkeys have acquired even more exposure, and Miles Kane has broken into the music world with his own solo show. Either because of the time that it took between albums or the success of their individual music, it seemed that The Last Shadow Puppets were going to end up a one-album band. But to everyone’s delight, they came out with Everything That You’ve Come To Expect on April 1. As moody as always, this album is a real treat, for more reasons than solely Alex Turner’s voice.
The album is very similar to their first album in terms of pace and mood, but reminds me more of an Arctic Monkeys album than did The Age of the Understatement. There aren’t as many of the funky background sounds and interesting intros and outros as there were in their first album, but we do hear them in some of the tracks, such as in “Bad Habits” and “Aviation.”
One thing that stood out to me while listening was that the full album is pretty catchy, but there aren’t any individual songs that are quite as catchy as “Standing Next To Me” or “The Age of the Understatement” from their first album. However, after listening to the album again, I found that it actually made for a more complete album.
Some of the highlights of the album include “Aviation,” “Sweet Dreams, TN,” and “Used To Be My Girl,” “Aviation” is a great song with a nice intro and melody. It sets the pace of the album, and from there the whimsical sound continues throughout. I found “Sweet Dreams, TN” to be my favorite song. Turner really uses his voice in ways that we’ve never heard before – it still has a very moody feel, but is also stronger than in most of the other songs, including his work with the Arctic Monkeys. The vocals are really in the forefront of this piece, backed by simple percussion. Another song that I really enjoyed was “Used To Be My Girl,” which has a very interesting melody with Asian influences and great lyrics.
Another fun track is “The Bourne Identity,” which makes a great ending song with a fantastic melody, lyrics, and a nice slow of pace at the end.
“Let’s just have a buzz because by the time I’m done fucking beating myself up
There’ll be nothing left to love”
When they introduced their first single from this album, “Bad Habits,” I was pretty unimpressed. In the meantime it’s grown on me, however, and I would say that it’s the song that is most like their old album with a kind of “in your face” feel.
Altogether, in my opinion Everything That You’ve Come To Expect has fewer outstanding songs than The Age of the Understatement, but is a more complete album in terms of the quality of each individual track. I’m really hoping that they don’t wait 8 more years to come out with a third album, and I will be crossing my fingers for a tour in the near future.
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