The Arctic Monkeys are riding high. They recently enjoyed a gig at one of the U.S.’s biggest music festivals in Lollapalooza and their new album Humbug released in the UK at #1. It’s now available in the States and fans of the band are snapping it up. The Arcitc Monkeys took a calculated risk too. Humbug is a departure from their normal fare. To me, it’s a good thing. Not that I didn’t like them before, but the new record has a new complexity to it, while keeping with the catchy tunes and lyrics that grabbed me in the first place. They were also smart in recruiting Josh Homme to co-produce Humbug – his credits include Queens of the Stone Age.
Lead singer and songwriter Alex Turner cites Jimi Hendrix and Cream as a couple influences in putting together Humbug, and it shows. The music is decidedly darker than past releases, it even has some 60’s trippiness to it. Some fans will undoubtedly be let down by the lack of pop-inspired, hop-up-and-down beats, but others will appreciate a further exploration of their style. None, however, should be disappointed by Turner’s way with words or the way he delivers them. And by all means Arctic Monkeys retain their uniqueness. In fact, they have one of the most interesting sounds to come on the scene in some time. And that’s impossible to change.
Below is a video of “Crying Lightning,” their first single from Humbug. Below that are a few more tunes from the new album.