Arctic Monkeys – Humbug Review

Posted: July 19, 2011 by kingcrimsonprog in Music Reviews, Rock, Rock Studio

Arctic Monkeys - Humbug

Arctic Monkeys - Humbug

The Arctic Monkey’s threw the world a surprising curve ball with their third studio album Humbug, changing their musical direction quite considerably and releasing an album of complicating, challenging music that bore little resemblance to the fun and easy going style of their debut.

The music started to incorporate both psychedelic influences and desert/stoner rock influences, which, while not overwhelming the album certainly left the overall impression as something different and odd. Don’t get confused though, the band haven’t released a Down or a Sleep album all of a sudden, there are just traces of that style there if you know what to listen for. Josh Homme of Kyuss/QOTSA fame co-produced the album and guest featured on four tracks, which should give you some indication of the direction the album took.

At first, I did not care for the changes one bit, I thought they should have had more fun lyrics, more fast songs and less jarring time sig/tempo changes, many fans did in fact, given the backlash against this album.

The album really grew on me however and now I’d rate it very highly indeed. The material just as an enjoyably hypnotic quality, and there is much to like about the album.

Standout tracks include the opener ‘My Propeller,’ the oft-played-in-concert number ‘Pretty Visitors,’ and ‘Secret Door,’ which I think most bridges the old and new styles.

Overall, many people may be put off by Humbug, but if you enjoy a bit of prog or stoner rock then you may find that this album grows on you after a while.

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