Arctic Monkeys 'Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino' Album Review: An Anachronistic Tale of A Sheffield Space Hotel
Written by Ollie C.
'Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino', the sixth studio album of Sheffield born band Arctic Monkeys is a true wonder to behold. I've been thinking about doing this review for some time now and just over 4 months since its release, I feel that I've come to the point where I have consolidated my thoughts fully on this extra-ordinary creation of Alex Turner and Co.
When I first listened to 'Star Treatment' on the Friday morning of 11th May 2018, I was stunned- and not in a good way. "This isn't the Arctic Monkeys I know!" immediately screamed internally and later externally to a group of mates who shared the same viewpoint. However, as Arctic Monkeys themselves have aged and evolved, this album has developed into something that I can only describe as ethereal.
I spent the day (forcing myself) to listen to what I first thought was a tragedy. I had lost the Arctic Monkeys that I had grown to love since my first interaction with them in around 2015. This space-age, technobabble filled, transcendental change really wasn't music to my ears for a good few weeks. However, after resorting back to 'Humbug' and even 'AM', I told myself, there must be something that I am missing here. So I ventured back into the void of synth that was TBHaC once more...
I was stunned- yet again. But for good this time. What was I thinking? This wasn't the Arctic Monkeys I knew but GOD was it the Arctic Monkeys I needed. After spending time listening intricately to the lyric-work, I was dumbfounded by the mastery that had gone into crafting this wonderful album. Taking subtle hints from everything pop culture to politics, mass media to the mind of Alex Tuner himself, this album was the deepest, richest and most pure piece of escapism I had ever heard. I really did feel like I was staying in Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino- and I never wanted to leave.
In an interview with BBC Radio 1, Turner gives one of the most beautiful quotes that completely sums up the album to me. When talking about his inspiration for the albums creation, he talks about the science fiction films that he was watching and books he was reading and mentions the fact that many of these are hyperbolic ways of expressing the idiosyncrasies of our time, or as Turner puts it, these films are "put out there an idea about the world we are living in". I believe that the Arctic Monkeys did just that with TBHaC, sending us off with packed bags for a stay in the hotel as the lyrics aimlessly guide us down the metaphorical "prophetic esplanade".
I could write for light-years about the complexity and utter profundity presented within this masterpiece, but I won't because as Alex sings, himself, "I’ve a feeling that the whole thing may well just end up too clever for its own good, the way some science fiction does." I'll let the music do the talking, words are too humane to elucidate such feelings.
As you can tell, this album is something incredibly special to me. Once an album which I almost immediately wrote-off as the worst thing since the video for Cornerstone. But I'll admit I was wrong, incredibly wrong. And for me, Arctic Monkeys have produced arguably their best, most lavish record to date. This album is the ticket to wherever you want it to be, there are no boundaries. Sit back, relax and enjoy the lunar ride.
Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino is available now on CD, Digital Download and Vinyl.
Listen to the album here, via Youtube:
Two best friends from Earth on a mission to provide the best entertainment related news, reviews and thoughts in the galaxy.