I struggle to find faults with the 'Arctic Monkeys'. They really are at the top of the game, and they have been ever since their 2006 debut 'Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not'. But now we are in 2011 and 'Suck It And See' is far away from their early records.
If you take their first LP as one end of the spectrum and 'Humbug' as the other end, 'Suck It And See' fits slap bang in the middle. It mixes the energy that 'Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not' had, and the dark beauty that was 'Humbug'. 'Don't Sit Down 'Cause Ive Moved Your Chair' is such a great track. The opening riff brings back memories of 'Crying Lightning' and when the full sound kicks in, 'Favorite Worst Nightmare' is brought to mind. I really believe that 'Suck It And See' is a large amalgamation of everything the 'Arctic Monkeys' have released previously.
However, there are a few elements that have never previously been seen inside an 'Arctic Monkeys' CD. The first is perhaps the melodies that Alex Turner blares out. 'Black Treacle' and 'Brick By Brick' are melodically brilliant tracks and show just how much a band can change in as little as 5 years. Perhaps fueled by his recent solo outing on the 'Submarine OST', these are easily some of the standout tracks of the album.
But perhaps the more surprising change is the almost summer feel to some of the songs. 'Hellcat Spangled Shalalala' wouldn't be out of place on a beach in the Bahamas and 'Reckless Serenade' isn't too far behind it.
One thing that hasn't changed is most definitely Alex's ability to write lyrics. 'Her steady hands may well have done the devils pedicure'. They aren't just waffle like the majority of band's lyrics these days. They mean something. They mean a lot. Alex seems to be able to craft words into anything he wants to. His lyrics are almost poetry, which he references in the track 'Suck It And See' with 'I poured my aching heart into a pop song, I couldn't get the hang of poetry'. It seems that writing lyrics come as easily as breathing does to the Sheffield frontman. Even lines such as 'Library pictures of the quickening canoe' are clearly deep and meaningful lines, even as ambiguous as they are.
Yes, the 'Arctic Monkeys' matured for 'Humbug', but here is when they become seriously good.
Best Tracks: 'Black Treacle', 'Library Pictures', 'The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala'
Next Review: Tom Vek - Leisure Seizure