Earlier this month a British band called The Arctic Monkeys released their first new album since the album that was released in 2013 “AM”, called “Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino”, leaving a four-year gap between albums! In 2014 they told their fanbase that they were taking a break for a while. Their fans have been itching to get their hands on new music ever since and the album has stirred up some controversy in the midst of it all. The fans were split between opinions, some die-hard fans said they hated the album while others like myself loved it.
Some of the people who hated the album likely were expecting an “AM” part two which unfortunately for them wasn't the end product. “AM” is what elevated their success especially in the US, so if this is all you know from the band the new album probably caught you off guard. One person tweeted “Is it just me or is arctic monkeys new album absolutely horrendous? Listened to it about 10 times to give it a chance but it's god awful. Living off their rep.”
A lot of people hate it, but the truth is that the album is well produced and unique, and some people are stuck on the old releases. People can obviously have their opinions, but the band put years into producing an album and it isn't for everyone but it's their sound progressing. The Arctic Monkeys have always been a band with an evolving sound, so they aren't all about just pleasing people for the next dollar. Though some fans aren't as happy, they have phenomenal reviews from critics ranging from four to five stars. The Arctic Monkeys are notorious for their nostalgic 70’s rock n roll vibe and that is one thing that wasn't left behind with “AM”.
This album clearly has a different sound but what exactly is that sound? Think of bands like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones and the type of vibe they gave off and then combine that with some serious rebel attitude. This is what the album sounds like in the songs I've listened to throughout the album, though that's strictly opinionated. Throughout this album, its two most streamed songs are “Four Out Of Five” and “Star Treatment”.
The lyrics in “Four Out Of Five” suggest that it's about an advertisement for “Tranquility base hotel & casino.” A contributor on Genius.com states “The song describes advertising for the titular Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino. Some parts read explicitly like an advert, inviting the listener to come and relax at Tranquility Base.
The lyrics are set within the universe of the album, describing the new businesses being set up on the Lunar surface and all the potential lovely experiences one might have there and showing off a good review given to the taqueria: four stars out of five.”
This statement is summarizing the song's meaning in a few short sentences which brings out the deeper meaning of the song. The lyrics in “Star Treatment” talk about lead singer, Alex Turner’s past and turmoil before fame. Genius.com contributor says “Throughout the song, Turner covers his past turmoils and inspirations before the fame, with a rich and meticulously crafted metaphor for how idolized celebrities are distorted by the media similar to the light of a star. The track also uses introspection to pay homage to icons such as The Strokes and Leonard Cohen.” This statement also explains their sound as it's obvious “The Strokes” and “Leonard Cohen” are heavy influences to the band.
The album debuted at the top of the charts in their home country, The United Kingdom as number one. According to NME in an article published on May 18th, 2018 “The Sheffield group scored combined chart sales of 86,000 and the LP is the most popular album on all formats this week – physical, digital and streaming according to the Official Charts Company.”
In the United States, the album debuted at number two in the iTunes chart and was featured in the iTunes US Albums chart for fifteen days. Overall the album has done well during its release period and fell through the charts after the first two weeks of release.
My personal favorite off of the new album "Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino" would have to be “Four Out of Five” because it gives off really good vibes and is frankly, really catchy. I also appreciate the lyrics being so literal, relating to the name and concept of the album as a whole. The song just reminds me of a summer night with a convertible top down and driving through a town with hardly anyone on the road. The song just overall gives me a happy feeling and makes me want to dance!