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  • The Age Of The Understatement

    The Last Shadow Puppets

  • Arctic Monkeys,

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    The Last Shadow Puppets

    the age of the understatement

    The Age Of The Understatement 7 ( 2008 )
    The Age Of The Understatement / Standing Next To Me / Calm Like You / Separate And Ever Deadly / The Chamber / Only The Truth / My Mistakes Were Made For You / Black Plant / I Don't Like You Any More / In My Room / Meeting Room / The Time Has Come Again

    Miles Kane of The Rascals teams up with Alex Turner of Artic Monkeys and both team up with Owen Pallett, who has arranged strings for Arcade Fire. All this adds together on 'The Age Of Understatement' to create something very different to Artic Monkeys. What we have here is music clearly influenced by Scott Walker and Ennio Morricone, among others. Such a thing I usually applaude, particularly when this album also sounds so impeccable, production wise. It sounds both nodding to the past yet also keeps a modern edge. Just the right way to do these things. Turner's lyrics appear to be a step up from his usual concerns on Artic Monkeys records, displaying a new found maturity and a wider range of concerns than his usual narrow scope of subject matter. Som lots to applaude here, yet even with the album only being thirty two minutes long, the sameness of feel of the tracks here grates upon repeated listens. The fact Alex Turner's voice isn't really cut out for this type of music also soon becomes irritating. The producer places echo around the vocals, which is fine, yet you can't help yourself but want a proper singer here. If you're going to echo 'Scott 4' by Scott Walker, you're just inviting disaster unless you've got a vocalist of distinction, in my opinion. What with rabid Arctic Monkey mania, i'll likely get shot for saying such a thing, but what can a man do but express his own opinion?

    I've three highlights to pick out here, proper songs man, proper songs. 'Standing Next To You' features the vocals of Miles and Alex in unison, the song has a galloping, elegant rhythm and sound. Not quite 'Scott 4', more 'Scott 3', but this remains a damn impressive tune. The opening title track also has many laudable qualities. Possibly the finest set of lyrics Mr Turner has written married to an inventive, ambitious arrangement. Again with the galloping, yet the strings swirl majestically and the bass lines are also very inventive. 'My Mistakes Were Made For You' is this albums 'The Old Mans Back Again', the bass very groovy indeed. 'My Mistakes Were Made For You' is also one of the very few tracks that manage to shift the atmosphere slightly away from the galloping and Morricone tendencies the majority of the other songs present to us. Still, a decent album all in all and it's good to have something different and educational at number one for 'the kids' to listen to, isn't it?

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    Readers Comments

    Esther United States
    I agree with most of your review. Except that I haven't tired of it yet (after repeated listens!) Miles voice is much better than Turner's. It borrows sure, but still fresh. I am not an AM fan, maybe explains why I like this. I am a huge Coral fan (i.e. Roots & Echoes). Cheers!

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    this page last updated 10/08/08

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