Arctic Monkeys Humbug

Arctic Monkeys Humbug
Nobody expected the Arctic Monkeys to survive the hype generated by their debut album. But here we are, three records and a highly successful side-project later, and the UK quartet are still going strong, unwilling to rest their hat on any one sound. Third time out, the band have enlisted Queens of the Stone Age main-man Josh Homme to helm production. Unsurprisingly, the record leans on rhythm and groove to create the songs' foundations. Of course, this is nothing new for the group ― half the songs on their debut were propelled by original bassist Andy Nicholson's funky rhythms. But where their last two albums were spiky, punk-influenced affairs, Humbug smoothes out the edges and gives the Monkeys' sound a hazy quality that will certainly divide fans. Homme's created a more dynamic sonic range than the band have had in the past. But while the record is by far their most accomplished, in terms of vision and sound, there is a dearth of catchy tunes, something primary songwriter Alex Turner used to have in spades. Humbug shouldn't be outright dismissed, as there is enough here to keep listeners interested. But it will almost certainly become known as the turning point record in the band's career, rather than a single-driven high point. (Domino)