It was a collaboration of the year!
The year 2008 when The Last Shadow Puppets have blessed us with their debut album “The Age of Understatement” now seems like ancient past.
Since then, a lot has happened on the music scene and in the lives of Alex Turner and Miles Kane. Both have conquered the music world with their bands and it was just a matter of time when they would again branch out and do something different, something outside of the genres they were previously put in. That “something” turned out to be supergroup’s second album!
In the summer of 2015, Turner and Kane have announced that they have recorded a new album and now we can finally enjoy the masterpiece that is “Everything You’ve Come to Expect”.
And no, this is not an April Fools’ prank, the album is in stores now!
After 8 years, it only took several seconds of the opening song ‘Aviation’, their third single and one among many album highlights, to remind me just how beautifully and harmoniously their vocals complement each other and thus, create this flawless unity that is The Last Shadow Puppets.
Owen Pallett, who collaborated with them on debut album, was nominated for an Oscar in the meantime. And this time around, he was again in charge of string arrangements which go hand in hand with their vocals.
The album lures in the listener with pop choruses, smooth transitions, brilliant and cleverly written lyrics attributed to Turner, and breathtaking strings. One of the favorites is “I thought they were kisses, but apparently not. Do you end all your messages with an ‘X marks the spot’?” from ‘The Element Of Surprise’.
Their single ‘Bad Habits’, can be seen as the odd one out of all, a bad boy of some sort. It is a bold, endlessly playable, groovy tune with powerful bass line and melodic strings. At times it resembles ‘Brick by Brick’ from Arctic Monkeys’ ‘Suck It And See’ album, and it will surely be one of the favorites at festivals and their concerts.
‘Sweet Dreams, TN’ is an uncharacteristic love song which brings us back to the standard sound from their beginning.
This is not a band who is after world recognition or money/fame; both of them are respected and beyond successful in their own right. This is also not an album which is filled with TOP40 hits, it is not there to surpass the success of Monkeys’ ‘AM’. It is simply a collaboration between two close friends, a product of love towards music and creation. It is relaxing, chilled out, smooth, soft and bold sound accompanied with somewhat humorous yet intelligent lyrics.
Every song is enjoyable and will not bore you to death. The chemistry between Alex and Miles is undeniable, you can also witness it at one of their shows.
The song that probably resembles their debut album the most is ‘She Does The Woods’. It describes a walk through the woods which had an unexpected turn (“She turns my back to the earth and shows me that’s where I’m meant to be”).
Final song of the album is ‘The Dream Synopsis’ where Alex describes his dreams in which Miles and him jump from Sheffield to Los Angeles. He even manages to poke fun at his songwriting skills concluding the song, and album, with “It must be torture when I talk about my dreams”.