I’ve caught the (hum)bug.
I don’t do this very often, but: Let’s start some buzz.
Not that the Arctic Monkeys particularly need any buzz, mind you. Their debut album is arguably the most overhyped album of the decade, at least with regard to the British rock rags; less than a year after its release, it was hailed by certain publications as one of the best albums ever made. Just the same, however, the band is underappreciated in certain circles; their 2007 follow-up, Favourite Worst Nightmares, was unfairly written off as just another British rock album, when in fact it was a vicious, rampaging show of enthusiasm, vigor, and songwriting finesse that seemed to throw the entire history of British rock and roll into a blender and puree it into something that smacked of dizzying imagination and skill.
Now they’ve got a third album, called Humbug. And it’s something else altogether. It doesn’t come out until August 25th, but I can’t wait for you all to hear it. I’ll be writing much more about it. For now: It’s even more expansive and deep than the last one, despite being more compact and brief. And while it’s produced by Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age) and marks a bit of a departure for the band, it’s still an Arctic Monkeys album through and through– more mature and complex, to be sure, but still youthful and energetic.
I’ll put it this way: On their first two albums, they sounded hungry— hungry to explore the spectrum of rock and roll and discover all its possibilities. They’re hungry on this one, too, but this time they’re hungry to show us all who they are as a band, to carve out a sound that’s truly their own. And they’ve done it. It’s a terrific and wonderfully assured rock record, and it deserves to be on everyone’s radar.
More Arctic Monkeys chatter to come over the next few weeks, I’m sure.