Bands often find themselves in difficulty to come up with records that are at least as good as their previous one. It seems that the Arctic Monkeys found themselves in this very situation, after their 2013 blockbuster record AM. That album was for many fans the perfect contemporary rock album. It was fresh, it reinvented the band, but not as much as to become unrecognizable, and got them an army of fans. Five years later and Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino comes out, and fans are split.
That rocky and even hip-hop vibe is gone, and it has been replaced with a piano and some falsetto backing vocals. The other three members of the band, bassist Nick O’Malley, drummer Matt Helders, and guitarist Jamie Cook, are still there, but somehow, in the distance. Their purpose has been completely altered. This is probably why this album was originally suggested as a solo Alex Turner project. It feels that way. Now, he is singing about his muse that is located in space, the moon, to be more precise. The songs on this album also contain a lot of technology references, like the “batphone”, and many others like them.
Arctic Monkeys reinvent themselves
Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino is a very sci-fi oriented album. And seeing how all sci-fi draws from present and reality, it also talks about the recent years in America. They can do that now, because AM substantially grew their influence in the United States and made them household names. Arctic Monkeys’ last album might either make the band gain more fans or get rid of them. But maybe this is precisely what they want. Nirvana did the same thing after Smell Like Teen Spirit.
This album did not have any preceding singles, breaking the norm and forcing fans to take it as it is. An entire new experience, unrelated to anything that came before it.
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