The Last Shadow Puppets was what we thought a one off collaboration between Alex Turner (Arctic Monkeys) and Miles Kane but now they are back all grown up with a second album. While their debut was excellent piece of cinematic pop, lead single here "Bad Habits' is a growling piece of rawk. Early indications say 'expansive' - we'll see about that but in any case this will be much sought after, particularly the indies-only edition with a bonus 7".
7/10 Clinton Staff review, 30 March 2016
I feel a bit like a disappointed parent looking back at the video for ‘The Age of the Understatement’ taken from the Last Shadow Puppets excellent debut . How did those two fresh faced cheeky scamps become the utter wankers they sometimes appear today?
The continued leg up Alex Turner continues to give to Miles Kane is one of the most unfathomable musical hook ups in recent times particularly when you consider latter has never otherwise produced a note of worthy music throughout his career. The musical qualities here are tarnished somewhat with their dick-ish behaviour of late but there are qualities here to investigate. Turner has always been much more than just a lad rock wordsmith and the title track here is a string laden Brian Wilson-esque slab of seaside balladry that should not be underestimated. The album opens up pretty much where ‘The Age of the Understatement’ left off - ‘Aviation’ is a mid paced effort with lots of sweeping ’60’s style strings and cinematic overtones. ‘Miracle Aligner’ too has a sweet melody that starts to grow on you. I’m not sure which one of them is singing but it’s nice and soft. It’s a real shame that the awful ‘Bad Habits’ was released as the lead single to this whilst they simultaneously act like twats as this is mostly a lovely and…yes…sensitive album.
It’s much more than just the Arctic Monkeys with strings on, although you can imagine lots of the tracks appealing to Monkey’s fans, the production is a little MOR on certain tracks although the melodies are always strong and pure Turner throughout. He gets to comb his hair to the ’50’s stylings of the Richard Hawley ish ‘Sweet Dreams TN’ and the lovely closing drift of the Beatlesey ballad ’The Dream Synopsis’. Mature works of decent songwriting that bely the shell suits.
God knows what it is Kane does - maybe like Andrew Ridgeley he's just there to just keeps his mate happy but however they go about things this is actually a really nice record.
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