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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Age Of Understatement
This is a very solid album, surprisingly good considering it's only a 'side project'. You don't need to be an Arctic Monkeys or Rascals fan to appreciate it, though if you don't like Alex Turner's voice then it won't be for you; he takes on the majority of vocal duties.

Full of (mostly) subtle orchestration and vocal harmonies, it sounds at times quite like the...
Published on 22 April 2008 by B. Wright

versus
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars probably best if you like the monkeys
I like Alex Turner's voice so as he sings most of the time he is on to a winner already.
They manage to make the 60s retro sound interesting (Duffy how come you can't). Quirky lyrics well delivered. Not bad at all.
Busy production and orchesteral/big band sounds means it doesn't make it all the way through very often in out house.
Published on 25 May 2008 by Blue Naters


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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Age Of Understatement, 22 April 2008
By 
B. Wright (Gloucester, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This is a very solid album, surprisingly good considering it's only a 'side project'. You don't need to be an Arctic Monkeys or Rascals fan to appreciate it, though if you don't like Alex Turner's voice then it won't be for you; he takes on the majority of vocal duties.

Full of (mostly) subtle orchestration and vocal harmonies, it sounds at times quite like the music you'd expect to find in a movie, perhaps a Bond soundtrack (listen to the intro to 'In My Room' and you'll understand). Most of the tracks have a frantic, energetic pace to them, particularly the title track and 'Black Plant'. Imagine the Arctic Monkeys, playing acoustically with an orchestra backing them and you've probably got a decent idea of the sound. The album is just as good when they slow the songs down and trade vocals, like in the brooding 'I Don't Like You Anymore'. It's more 'mature' and serious than anything they've released though, with the lyrics simpler and less wordy than Alex's usual fare. It's not particularly upbeat, all of the songs are quite dark and moody (though 'Meeting Place' gives a welcome respite from this, if not with the lyrics, at least with a more cheerful sound).

This probably won't be as well received as an Arctic Monkeys album, but it's just as good. There's a further depth to it that is lacking sometimes from their normal work, and it's nice to see two artists doing something experimental and different. The title is well chosen; the album is quite understated, definitely one that will grow the more times you listen to it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Big Cinematic Sized Gem, 24 May 2008
By 
pjr (London, England) - See all my reviews
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I will be honest and say that I don't know The Rascals but I am all too familiar with the precocious talents Alex Turner of Arctic Monkeys fame. Side projects of this type could be dismissed as mere vanity projects. Taking inspiration from the epic soundscapes of Scott Walker's quartet of albums from the 60's should be ambitious beyond reach.

It isn't and isn't so for a number of reasons. Firstly Turner writes wonderfully taught lyrics and here they are given a different setting which seems to make them soar. He also adds some darker tones to his writing which suit the mood well. Musically the wish to make something akin to Scott Walker's album works and this is largely due to the pretty much unhearalded talents of Owen Pallett who, at 21, has already made a name arranging strings for Arcade Fire and Beruit. He emulates the sweeping strings of Wally Stott (Walker's arranger) wonderfully. His work is quite literally the highlight of the record and hopefully this will help elevate his band Final Fantasy into the public conciousness.

The sound is very 60's and fans of the likes of Scott Walker, John Barry and countless other 60's icons will find much to enjoy in this. The production is wonderfully executed and adding the merest hint of echo to Turner's voice really sets the mood of songs. It's not really going to set the fans of the Monkeys alight as this is something quite different.

It is ambitious and sumptuous and rarely hits anything short of its desired for hieghts. Picking out individual highlights is hard as each one of the tracks is a joy. Here's hoping there's more from this trio of prodigiously talented individuals. One of the highlights of the year.
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Arctic Symphonies, 23 April 2008
By 
Tony Floyd "Travis Pickle" (UK) - See all my reviews
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Wow, what an album. These guys are 22. I'm an old fart in my 40s. But I love this record. It's a beautiful headrush of pleasure. The Arctic Monkeys I can take or leave, probably because my ears need a break from staccato guitars and that trebly punky thing. But this is a bold and exhilarating record. I suppose it is Scott Walker-ish (think Seventh Seal) and James Bond-ish (think Chris Cornell's Casino Royale theme song) and Arctic Monkey-ish (Alex Turner's distinctive vocals) but Alex and Miles have done their influences proud and can easily stand up there with the people who served as their inspiration. The first 4 tracks come rushing out of the speakers backed up with a breathless and soaring orchestral accompaniment that is so bombastically over the top you can only grin at its sheer joie de vivre (did I really say that?). Thereafter the quality control wobbles a bit, though I'd say it's only a couple of tracks that are not that great, but things rapidly improve again and the album ends on another, though less thunderous, high.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars probably best if you like the monkeys, 25 May 2008
I like Alex Turner's voice so as he sings most of the time he is on to a winner already.
They manage to make the 60s retro sound interesting (Duffy how come you can't). Quirky lyrics well delivered. Not bad at all.
Busy production and orchesteral/big band sounds means it doesn't make it all the way through very often in out house.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Voice of a Generation and ..who?, 13 Jun. 2008
By 
John Woods (Lancing) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
A lovely debut from maybe Britians cutest male duet but is it only famous because of the legacy of Alex Turner?
The strings of Age of the understatement kicks in followed by miltary drums and sweeping strings galore. The pair racing through the lyrics like hurdles. I must say the title track lives to its title it is a big understatement. 2nd track "Standing next to me" makes you feel like your shooshing through the swiss alps in a classic car. With Alex Turner showing that fast indie rock is not the only trick up his sleeve. "Calm like You" is a large swooping landscape yet again with ... yes you guessed it Alex Turner on lead vocals again but an enjoyable song all the least, referring to a realtionship falling apart " I am craving heartbreak as you are making your demands". "Separate and ever deadly now" and whats this? another voice? This must be the Miles Kane the 2nd shadow puppet as he's referred as. Miles earns his stripes in this song showing that he is not shadowed by Alex (Shadowed Gettit? Oh don't worry) The music is now getting quite samey now and dragging on but still a lovely accompiant to the stunning poetry of lyrics. "The Chamber" giving a different slant on a winning formalua with a story of a torture chamber probably? The Highlight of the album being "My Mistakes were made for you"
Strings, Guitar, Brass etc spot on. A chorus of "It was fame that put words in her mouth, she could'nt help but spit them out, innocence and arrogance entwined, in the filthest of minds" Timelessness is the only way to describe "MMWMFY". The remander of the tracks are all the same in the way that there is nothing more to the album than the tracks i've outlined.
If it was only 6 tracks i would have said that the album was a masterpiece. But the other tracks let it down slightly showing that Timelessness is a good thing but trying to the same thing all over an album is not a very good thing.

Andrew Snickett
(1st Review)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars average, 21 May 2008
By 
mje (northwest england) - See all my reviews
every track sounds like a bond theme tune, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. i'm not really into this album, although i am a big fan of the arctic monkeys and i was really looking forward to this collaboration. i like the sort of 60s feel, i just think that the songs, even though they're new and everything feels a little tired and samey

all in all i'd pass. if i could tell myself then what i know now i wouldn't have bought it
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, 20 April 2014
This review is from: The Age Of The Understatement (Audio CD)
I guess as a major fan of both the Arctic Monkeys and Miles Kane, it was bond to be a yes from me, but the pure beauty of this album was as big a shock as ever. The simply brilliant lyrical of Alex Turner should not go amiss, and neither should Kane's equally brilliant guitar work. However this album is not a playlist for partying, no, it's the definitive soundtrack to nights in, as it should be. It has a moody, brooding tone, the sort that comes across in Miles' 'Come Closer' (a brilliant track in itself) and the Arctic Monkeys' 'Pretty Visitors'. Their personal musical tastes and influences do not fail to appear, but blend well together to create a soothingly smooth sound that cannot be described as anything less of a masterpiece. Perhaps not to the quality of the Arctic Monkeys current work, or Miles Kane's solo work, but nonetheless better than a whole lot of other current musicians. I strongly suggest some of the so-called 'greatest musicians of 20`4' (cough, cough, Harry Styles!) take note of the quiet brilliance of this record.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A shadow of greater bands, 30 Dec. 2008
By 
M. Speller "mattwareherts" (Herts, England) - See all my reviews
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The Last Shadow Puppets enlisted the help of Scott Walker for this Love/Misunderstood/Coral inspired release. It isn't the most accessible of albums, filled with tracks that follow the same west coast usa 1970 formula. Apart from the obvious singles I feel the rest of the tracks are not diverse enough or contain enough quality to let this album flourish.

An album that lacks any real diversity or uniqueness fails to engage the listener and after the first 5 tracks, I lost interest in this at precisely this point. I struggle to work out what Alex Turner and co are trying to achieve with this attempt. Is it an artistic statement, a homage to their past music preferences or maybe an attempt to break away from the stereotype of their previous work?

Whatever the aim is, I feel it lacks conviction and any real depth of quality. Love, Misunderstood and The Coral all are favourites of mine, and this album should sit nicely with them. In fact if I played this along side them it might just work in places, but it feels even more outdated than the 1960's efforts.

This album fails by being too samey and lacks the quality to pull off the same trick 12 times over. Alex Turner is well known as the cocksure cheeky lad from Sheffield who fronts the Arctic Monkeys, and I believe that is where he excels and he should remain. He deserves some credit for being brave enough to break his mould and to push his and his fans limits, the Mercury nomination is essentially for just that, but this is where this should end.

*** Like: The Coral, The Misunderstood, Love ***
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4.0 out of 5 stars Like it..., 28 April 2008
By 
Scubasteve (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
Well Turner and Kane have turned the odd appearance at one anothers gigs into something a little more...I have liked the Rascals for a while, and didnt know what to expect with this album.

The debut single is a bit of a cracker, upbeat and catchy for the neutral music fan. After that i feel the album starts to have much more of a homemade and authentic feel to it. I can just imagine the two guys sat in a bar somewhere writing these songs (even if that never did happen)...

There are good tracks such as standing next to me, which is awesome and black paint. Most of the songs have some sort of orchestral accompaniment, something i dont think we hear a lot of anymore in modern music. There are one or two songs which maybe belong on a single as a b-side.

Very good debut album, good to see such well produced collaboration... hope they both continue with their other bands as well!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A nice album (with a wonderful cover), 27 Aug. 2009
My premise here is that I just a.d.o.r.e. Arctic Monkeys (Humbug vinyl already ordered and waiting to be delivered...). They're surely not the "ultimate rock band ever", still they are honestly entertaining and, most important, have something to say. The instrumental inspiration of this side project is quite different from the rest of the Arctic Monkeys' discography (otherwise it wouldn't be called a "side" project... XD): less rockish with some vintage influences (as the cover suggests). That said, Alex's voice has the same fundamental impact on the whole record that it had for the first two Monkeys' albums. This album will not be remembered as a mile stone in music history, but it is one of the few proof left that there's still something worth listening to out there. Even if I've to admit that I would have bought it anyway, just for the front cover.
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The Age Of The Understatement
The Age Of The Understatement by The Last Shadow Puppets (Audio CD - 2008)
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