Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino

Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino: The Verdict

The Arctic Monkey's First Release in Five Years
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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!

Cover Image Credit: Imgur

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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Why I Chose To Learn A Musical Instrument

You don't have to be the best to play beautiful music

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In this world of specialization, people give me the impression that they believe that we should not bother doing anything unless we can be number one unless we can be the best. However, not everyone can be number one at one specialized task. Even if someone was able to accomplish such a feat, they would have to relinquish this title once someone better came along (because someone with superior talent always comes along).

So why bother learning a technique like how to play an instrument?

1. Passion

To put it in mathematical terms, Passion > Competition every time. What is the one thing that tends to bring everyone together? Listening to the same sounds, which is normally in the form of beautiful music. Music is a universal phenomenon that can tug on everyone's heartstrings at the same time, and usually the same heartstring. Learning to play an instrument opens up many possibilities for a person to enrich his/her/their life:

2. Making a song your own

There is a reason why people are allowed to monetize covers of original songs on YouTube: making a cover of a song is making a new version of the song. Sometimes people love a piece of music so much that they want to be a part of it, but they cannot be apart of it unless they somehow make their own version of it. People do this by becoming a part of orchestras, quartets, trios, bands, and duets. To learn an instrument, in my case piano, is to learn how to make my favorite songs come to life without turning on an iPod or Youtube.

3. You don't have to be the best to play beautifully

Music is an art form, and that art form is enhanced by hard work and practice. Anyone can learn how to play a beautiful piece of music. They just have to choose the piece they want to learn and practice long enough. Perhaps they will only manage to get to an intermediate skill level, but even at that intermediate skill level is the capability to make almost any song beautiful.

4. It's a healthy form of expression

Emotions are infused within music, and sometimes we need to express them. Music is a healthy way to express emotions without allowing those emotions to overwhelm us or drive us in an unhealthy manner. Music is an art form that allows us to express our emotions and control our emotions.

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