thu 30/05/2024

CD: Arctic Monkeys - Suck It and See | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Arctic Monkeys - Suck It and See

CD: Arctic Monkeys - Suck It and See

Where to go next is proving tricky for Yorkshire's star rockers

Arctic Monkeys' random verse generator not fully functional on latest outing

"I poured my aching heart into a pop song/ I couldn't get the hang of poetry": a line from the title track of the Arctic Monkeys' fourth studio offering, Suck It and See, pretty much sums things up really. The new album is a poppy selection of songs about being in love and the perils of youth, which showcases Alex Turner's distinctive vocals - but the lyrics are terrible.

Songs such as "Piledriver Waltz", "The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala" and "Library Pictures" sound like they've been assembled using literary fridge magnets, so random are the descriptive couplings of words. Naturally, artistic licence determines that songs don't have to make perfect literal sense, but chucking about word combinations such as "acrobatic blood", "quickening canoe" and, most impressively, "she's got a telescopic hallelujah hanging upon the wall" seems a bit poetically try-hard.

This rather original use of language sometimes works, such as the second song, "Black Treacle", which describes the sticky darkness of a starless night sky. The new record also retains some of the energetic vibrancy of 2007's Favourite Worst Nightmare, but it rings hollow compared with the clearer-sighted lyrical charm of the group's 2006 debut, Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not.

Musically, Suck It and See sounds like the band read the rather mixed reviews which greeted Humbug, their last album, and decided to stop rocking out and go back to pop music. The Beach Boys and Sixties influences are still heavily in evidence. Having created the fastest-selling UK debut in history when they were still in teen-angst mode is probably one reason Arctic Monkeys haven't matured as far as might be expected in the last five years. The band's biggest triumph is how carefully honed their signature sound remains. However, a sense that they are trying to be cute or self-consciously naïve by constantly parodying their youthfulness is slightly irritating.

Watch the video for "Don't Sit Down 'Cause I've Moved Your Chair" from Suck It and See


'the lyrics are terrible'. get out.

Piledriver Waltz is lyrically brilliant. It tells a well thought out and meaningful metaphoric story. To state that this song in particular was "assembled using literary fridge magnets" is ridiculous and to me shows that opinion in the above article needs to be taken with a pinch (if not a handful) of salt. Library Pictures does moreso follow the method previously described but not necessarily in a negative way. It is in fact part of the songs' (which has a chaotic feel) charm. To dismiss it for something endearing but different is nothing less than small minded. Quite like saying- Don't listen to Nirvana, they're good, but a bit grundgy. Also you state that "The Beach Boys and Sixties influences are still heavily in evidence" but were they really that heavily evident on the first, and even second, album? Indeed they are now, (particularly on the title track) but I don't remember any direct Beach Boys influence on Whatever People Say I Am. I'm sure Turner (as do most song writers/music enthusiasts) had sub-concious 60s influence during song writing but I don't remember Brian Wilson frequenting the High Green Chippy during the Noughties. The final and most confusing thing in this article is the statement "Arctic Monkeys haven't matured as far as might be expected" I don't know how far they have been expected to mature. This album is so far from Whatever People Say I Am which was effectively a concept album for circa 18 year old's coming of age and frequenting the local pub/club scene. Turner is only approx 25 and is writing some great ballads of which there at least 3 on Suck It and See (Black Treacle, Piledriver Waltz & Love is a Laserquest) Matilda Battersby you are entitled to a negative opinion on the album but please try to ensure that they are not ill informed and for contradictive reasons.

i love reading reviews and laughing, because the reviewer clearly doesn't have a clue. its a great album, ashley s explains much more accurately than matilda.

Ashley S, could you please explain what a telescopic hallelujah is please? Do you have one you could show me?

Sorry I don't. But I do have a semolina pilchard, climbing up the Eiffel Tower. You probably wouldn't be interested in that though would you Hector.

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