Arctic Monkeys – Suck It and See (Album Review)

Submitted by / 12 years ago / New Album Releases

And so here it is. The difficult fourth album from the Sheffield four piece. Alex Tuner, Jamie Cook, Matt Helders and Nick O’Malley have returned with a sumptuous music record that has gone a long way in removing those doubters of Arctic Monkeys third studio album Humbug. But don’t get me wrong, this sound is still far and away from the raw aggression that swept Britain with Whatever People Say I Am That’s What I’m Not. If that is what you’re are looking for or expecting then I am afraid you will be disappointed with Suck It and See.

This is album is the real deal, a concoction of Alex Turners poetic lyrics and a classic rock n’ roll soundtrack. It’s hard not to be impressed by this record and it is certainly one I just can’t stop listening to over and over again and the more I do, the more rewarding it is.

I remember reading that the band were disappointed with the reaction they received after their time in the desert with Humbug and were keen to get back into the studio and record again as soon as possible. Personally, I am fan of Humbug but was not at all surprised by the reaction it was greeted with. The sound is so far removed from what the first two albums delivered and I don’t think anyone was expecting that kind of record. Perhaps if Humbug had come after Suck It and See then conceivably it may have had more popularity with those who were seemingly left unfulfilled. That is something we will never know although an interesting point nevertheless.

The first notes of the album opener She’s Thunderstorms echo and reverberate with chimed guitar, building up the tension and anticipation. The track does not disappoint. One of many love orientated songs on the record, Turner’s improved vocals croon “she’s thunderstorms” which effortlessly compliment the soft rock nature of track. It’s a catchy start to the album and lays the foundations for the rest of the album to build upon. The album develops urgency with the third track, Brick by Brick, which is fun and energetic with a tremendous riff, yet it appears to have come under some heavy criticism from those who have taken it too seriously.

Perhaps the most genius of Turner’s lyrics shines through in The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala where he whispers: “I took the batteries out my mysticism and put them in my thinking cap”. Pure Class. This is rivalled closely by “her steady hands may well have done the devil’s pedicure”. Hellcat is a very accomplished song that end’s in a marvellous crescendo which you’ll find yourself looking forward to more and more with each listen of the album. Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair is up next and if you haven’t heard it by now then boy you have been missing out big time. The song is surely tongue in and cheek and for me is a perfect example of the humour injected in all of the studio albums by Arctic Monkeys.

The albums ascends into fast natured chaos with Library Pictures which is reminiscent in some ways of The Nettles which is a B-Side from Teddy Picker. However, this track is far better and technically superior, whilst it also contains the immortal line “Ip dip dog shit rock ‘n’ roll”. Parity is once more restored with Reckless Serenade which returns to the soft rock roots of the beginning of the album but it’s disappointingly short at just over two and a half minutes.

Turner denied in NME earlier this week that he is the voice of a generation, stating it was something that “he has not cracked”. Perhaps he is modest. Piledriver Waltz would certainly beg to differ. A slightly different version to the one featured on Turner’s Submarine EP, Waltz is a classic and Turner is at his poetic best. My favourite line comes from the song the album is named after in which Turner declares “You’re rarer then a can of dandelion and Burdock, and those other girls are just postmix lemonade”. That’s Where You’re Wrong finishes the record where it started, a love song with that chimed guitar that just oozes class and is perhaps summed up best by the adjective mellow.

For me, Suck It and See truly delivers and the talented four piece are growing in stature with each album. Congratulations boys on a truly terrific album, see you at Bennicassim in July.

Stand-Out Track:  Hellcat Spangled Shalalala

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