Saturday, April 26, 2008

Good Golly, By Jolly, This Is Really Good! #43

In Alex Turner’s newest side project with Miles Kanes of the Rascals, called the Last Shadow Puppets, we get to witness a different side of the lead singer to British band phenom, Arctic Monkeys. The duo’s latest offering, The Age of the Understatement, is comprised of tunes loaded with 70s (late 60s?) retro pop which brings me to another thing; that’s the thing about us 22 year olds, we’re obsessed-- just obsessed with retro sounding music.

Track opener, which also carries the same name as the record, is a rumbling confectionary of orchestration, complete with echoey vocals, and a widescreen, cinematic sound. The credit for this effect, no doubt goes to Arcade Fire music arranger, Owen Pallet, who was deemed responsible for the atmospheric feel and string arrangements for the album, that’s achieved with the help of the 22-piece London Metropolitan Orchestra. Accompanying this first single from the full-length is a video that does great justice to the song; where both couldn’t have looked any more British or Beatles-like than they’d want to, striding coolly in high-collared coats, with a swagger that perfectly falls into step with the tune. It’s a shame that both are 22, otherwise I would’ve been impressed, if not slightly captivated.

The rest of the record though, does bear some of the most astoundingly gorgeous songs to come out of the creation of a young but talented song-writer, proving that he’s not only a musician, but a true artist. The more upbeat tracks may sound inconsistent, but it’s the slower ones that really shine in the record, from the hazy laments in ‘My Mistakes Were Made for You’ to the gentle lilting ballad of ‘The Time Has Come Again’, a song that would surprisingly not feel out of place in the LiteFm playlist.

I want to call this the best album I’ve ever heard, but then I realize the songs are nothing new to what I’ve heard before. Not that it’s bad, just too similar.

|mp3| The Last Shadow Puppets – The Age of the Understatement