Music Review

'Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino': a new sound for the Arctic Monkeys

Frontman Alex Turner's voice is the star of the show on the Arctic Monkeys' latest album

24 May 2018 - 12:33

Romantic piano bar lounge music is the best description for Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino, the sixth album by Arctic Monkeys, one of the best alternative bands of the past decade.
This sounds nothing like the sexy heartbreak record that was their previous album, AM. On Tranquility Base Hotel, frontman Alex Turner's voice is the star of the show - it's not competing with the band's trademark frantic guitars and drumming.
In fact, this album is pretty much all piano and vocals. It sounds like the Sheffield boys are donning suits, their hair slicked back, playing at a fancy casino restaurant for rich middle-aged white people in fur scarves, sequined evening gowns and diamonds.
This isn't to say the album is middle of the road - in fact, some of it feels rather tongue-in-cheek, largely because of Turner's lyrics.
"The leader of the free world reminds you of a wrestler wearing tight golden trunks," he sings on the fantastic Golden Trunks.
"Good afternoon, Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino. Mark speaking, how may I direct your call?" he croons on the title track.
WATCH | The music video for Four out of Five by the Arctic Monkeys

But the best invitation into this sumptuous experience is Four out of Five. It's sensual, it's beautiful and it sways (none of the swagger the band has become known for since their 2006 debut).
"Take it easy for a little while, come and stay with us, four stars out of five," he sings, inviting you to immerse yourself in this luxurious experience.
This album is more like a four and a half stars out of five...

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