Arctic Monkeys Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino Album Review

Story By: Ashleigh Hickman, Editor-in-Chief

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Arctic Monkeys is an English band that started in 2002; they’re categorized under the “garage rock” and “indie rock” genres. The band consists of Alex Turner, Matt Helders, Jamie Cook, and Nick O’Malley as of now. Their music, specifically their hit single Do I Wanna Know, played on the radio often, and they took their place as one of the most popular alternative artists to be playing on the pop radio at that time. Until now, Arctic Monkeys had gone five extremely long years in what seems like radio silence, and the extensive break left many fans anxious for more music. They released their most recent album, Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino, on May 11, 2018. The album left fans confused as they feuded over the whether or not the band’s change in sound was worth the wait.

Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino was underwhelming to many and disappointing to some. It straddles the line between being strangely personal and completely incomprehensible with its slower, jazz-esque instrumentals and faster paced vocals. Personally, the instrumentals checked every box as far as quality is concerned; each song, without the vocals, has a unique sound outside of the pace that sets the mood of the album. With the vocals, however, the lines between songs and even verses get blurred. With little range, the album begins to sound monotonous after a few songs, and the listener struggles to follow the underlying messages that Turner is trying to convey.

Fans that expected a different vibe from the band certainly didn’t expect a slow, methodical album; they wanted an upbeat vibe that was reflective of the previous albums, but with a more mature tone. Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino served as a finality to the Arctic Monkeys sound; the concept of the album made it seem as though their era in music is coming to a close. The debate on whether or not the finality of the album itself was a good thing for the band is still happening, but what is certain is that the album gave the band a chance to explore different concepts and sounds outside of the restriction of their older albums.

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