The Last Shadow Puppets "Everything You’ve Come to Expect" Review
They’re finally back! Much to the relief of the duo’s long-time followers, The Last Shadow Puppets have returned after an eight-year hiatus and they are stronger than ever before.
The Last Shadow Puppets, comprised of Arctic Monkeys front man, Alex Turner, and fellow musician and best friend Miles Kane, are seen moving away from the exclusively ‘60s influenced sound of their last collaborative effort, The Age of the Understatement (2008), and veering towards richer ‘70s flavored grooves on this new record.
However, fans mustn’t fret for the striking string arrangements, which first captured the public’s attention on The Age of the Understatement for evoking the long-forgotten sonic eras of the likes of Jacques Brel and Scott Walker, are featured heavily throughout the record’s twelve tracks.
The album’s catchy opener, “Aviation”, begins with intense strings and the appropriate sound of an airplane propeller as Kane’s vocal sweeps the listener up into their world of pleasantly, nonsensical lyricism (“Dracula Teeth”). “Miracle Aligner” most explicitly displays the duo’s ‘60s roots, as airy organ hums accompany Turner as he softly affirms this mid-song with the mention of a “doo wop tune”.
The title track continues to immerse listeners with Kane and Turner’s hazy vocals as they continue to weave both the sonic and lyrical themes of warm love, lust, and nostalgia are notable throughout the record. The album’s first single, “Bad Habits”, proves to be one of the record’s weaker songs. It’s discordant strings and horn sections are a triumph; however, Kane’s screaming vocals are grating rather than moving. Meanwhile, on “Sweet Dreams, TN”, Turner is heard crooning sexually explicit suggestions to the object of his desire.
With “The Element of Surprise” and “Pattern”, the pair’s homage to ‘70s styled grooves and beats are most apparent. Both carry the choppy, jangly rhythm guitar sounds reminiscent of the popular funk/disco group Chic. Listeners will immediately find themselves delightfully swaying to their irresistible sound.
The record winds down with “The Dream Synopsis”, which is perhaps the most lyrically coherent song off the album. Here we find Turner returning to his native Sheffield as he brings the listener back to the past, in which dreams and youthful anxieties are the preoccupying subjects on Turner’s mind. “The Bourne Identity”, appropriately closes off a record laden with intense and complex musical arrangements, with the simplicity of an acoustic guitar ballad enlivened by the duo’s melodious harmonies.
Everything You’ve Come to Expect, proves effectively titled as it marks a triumphant return for The Last Shadow Puppets. Both long-time fans and non-fans alike will be hardly disappointed. Everything You’ve Come to Expect is out now.