The Last Shadow Puppets, the super group formed by Arctic Monkeys singer Alex Turner and his best mate and ex-Rascal Miles Kane, are back with their second album after 8 years: Everything You’ve Come to Expect (Domino, 2016). The two are accompanied by producer James Ford on the drums and Zach Dawes of Mini Mansions on bass. Is Everything You’ve Come to Expect worth the wait? I think so but let’s look at it more closely.
The album opens with the song “Aviation” which draws you into a mysterious world right from the start with an instrumental introduction which sounds like the music intro of the TV series Lost. If really so, the choice is not so casual since in the TV show a plane crashed on a mysterious island.
In Everything You’ve Come To Expect the orchestrations by Owen Pallett, so appreciated in the first album The Age of the Understatement (2008) make their come back in a beautiful way, classifying this album, as its predecessor, as one which could well be a film soundtrack.
The album unfolds with “Miracle Aligner”, a soft and rather romantic tune in which Alex Turner’s voice is higher than usual but incredibly smooth. A song, that with its poignant sounds seems to bring you back to the past. “Dracula Teeth” is another song sung by Alex which sets a gloomy atmosphere on the album.
In “Everything You’ve Come To Expect”, the song which gives the title to the album, Alex Turner adopts his sweetest falsetto as the slow and repetitive orchestration set a laid back atmosphere. “The Element of Surprise” is one of the songs with the best lyrics, or at least it’s pretty straight and gets to the point.
“Bad Habits” is the wilder song in the album, sort of surrealist with a list of word which are at first seemingly unrelated but which make sense as the song goes on. The violin creeps in with strident sounds and the guitars are really fast in this song which is definitely the most rock in the album. And well Miles Kane‘s voice is more aggressive than ever! “Sweet Dreams, TN” is a love song Alex wrote for his actual girlfriend and I’m pretty sure that some of the elements in the song can only be grasped by her! The rhythm well articulated throughout most of the song gives a sort of marching band feeling, and Alex Turner’s crooner voice is back at its very best. In “Used to Be My Girl” , Miles sings the first verse as Alex sings the second one, their voices almost melting at the meeting point.
“She Does the Woods” is a sombre song, reminding the sounds in the last Arctic Monkeys album AM (2013), with choruses in the back and heavy riffs.
Miles, softens his voice to sing the tune “Pattern” while Alex does the backing vocals. A slow song with vocalises in the back as well as many instruments like violin and the piano which widen the sound mixing classic with pop.
The album ends with “The Dream Synopsis” a song written by Alex Turner where he recounts his dreams cunningly using elements of reality: like Sheffield city centre and Miles Kane.
A perfect song to end an amazing album which is definitely dream and film-like, as you listen to it a number of images pop up in your head and an entire new world is offered to the listener. The swapping between Miles and Alex’s voices throughout the album heightens this cinematic effect.
I’m curious to see how this album will be live, until then I’ll just enjoy listening to it 🙂