With no singles prior to its release, Arctic Monkeys’ sixth album Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino is either the proverbial case of your pig in a poke or a great marketing stunt. Five long years have passed since its critically acclaimed predecessor AM in which fans have been left without a clue as to what the new Arctic Monkeys would sound like.
With its name derived from the site on the moon where humans first set foot on in 1969, the album ditches guitars in favour of a casino piano. Throughout its running time, the record evokes images of a golden age 1960s America, whisky glasses and cigars as Alex Turner croons his way through his very own tranquility base.
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A piano that he was given to him for his 30th birthday seems to be the foundation of the album’s composition. “It stays between us, Steinway and his sons” Turner concludes on The Ultracheese. The ultra cheesy one might think and yet after its 40 minutes running time, Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino leaves the listener relaxed and quite literally tranquil.
It stays between us, Steinway and his sons
Having evolved with each album, Arctic Monkeys have managed to stay relevant in a time where most of their peers have either split or missed the boat. TBHC has nothing to do with the aggressive brit pop the band were playing on their debut album. In light of their previous record AM and Turner’s side project The Last Shadow Puppets, Arctic Monkeys’ sixth record is no surprise though. It is the next logical step in the evolution of a band that has reinvented itself with every new record. And yet, this conceptual record wears thin after a few spins and may feel out of place on the band’s upcoming arena dates.
Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino is available as of May 11th via Domino. The album comes with a gatefold sleeve, lyric and photo booklet and, exclusively via the AM webstore, on silver vinyl. Other exclusive editions can be purchased at the AM pop-up stores in Friday May 11th. All locations and opening times can be found here.
Also published on Medium.