Arctic Monkeys mark the end of a five-year hiatus with a stellar comeback album


From left to right: Alex Turner (lead vocals, guitar), Jamie Cook (guitar), Nick O’Malley (bass, vocals), and Matt Helders (drums, vocals) NME website photo

Arctic Monkey’s sixth studio album “Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino” delivers an exceptional rock album.

Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino album cover with CD
Arctic Monkeys website photo

Arctic Monkeys are an alternative/indie rock band from High Green, Sheffield, England. Its 2005 debut album “Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not” marked their breakthrough into the mainstream, making it the fastest-selling album in the United Kingdom’s history.

Following the success of their most successful album to date, AM (2013), Arctic Monkeys return with the release of their sixth, full-length studio album Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino.

This new album is a complete departure from their previous album, in terms of musical sound and style.

Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino has a much slower tempo and features instrumentals that are reminiscent of rock ballads and psychedelic rock of the 1960s and early 1970s.

The album is similar in sound to that of the works of David Bowie, Lou Reed and Leonard Cohen.

Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino is a narrative-based album that follows stories from a fictitious hotel and casino resort that is operated on the moon. It also has some social commentary on how technology has played a vital role in our lives and the dangers it if we become too reliant on it.

The opening track “Star Treatment” sets the tone for the album with its 1960s rock aesthetic and it begins the narrative behind the hotel and casino.

The next two songs “One Point Perspective” and “American Sports” aren’t exactly the most exciting tracks. Though, the bridge on “One Point Perspective” is one of the most exciting bridges on the album.

Musically, these songs are a bit simplistic, but it’s in these two songs that introduces the synthesizer that will have its own residency throughout the album.

The synthesizer, used by lead singer Alex Turner, is what helps establish the musical style and artistic direction that Turner was striving towards in this album. It reminds me of the psychedelic sounds from The Beach Boys’ 1966 album “Pet Sounds” and I feel Turner really tied together the album with the synthesizer.

The title track “Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino” and “Four Out Of Five” are my two favorite songs on the album. The title track blends the guitar and synthesizer very well to create an almost nostalgic and melancholic tone that helps create an image of the hotel.

“Four Out Of Five” is probably the most insightful song on the album. Turner writes and sings about the pressures he feels about his fame and career, but he does it by using the hotel and the things the reside within it as symbols and metaphors to replicate his feelings.

Another track that stood out was “The World’s First Ever Monster Truck Front Flip.” Lyrically, its not the best song on the album and it may be one of the weakest.

However, the arrangement of the synthesizers combined with the chord progression tie this song together as a complex, musical masterpiece and has become one of my favorite tracks on the album.

Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino is the most experimental Arctic Monkeys album since its 2009 album, Humbug. Fans of classic rock and older Arctic Monkeys will certainly enjoy this album.

Personally, this album continues to get better and better after every listen and is one the best albums the Arctic Monkeys have put out.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Favorite Tracks: Four Out Of Five, Star Treatment, The World’s First Ever Monster Truck Flip, Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino, The Ultracheese

Least Favorite Tracks: She Looks Like Fun, Golden Trunks

Angel Ortega can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_arts on Twitter.