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The Monkeys have evolved
on 28 September 2009
The UK music press has created and destroyed so many bands over the years, that it's always best to take a "don't-believe-the-hype" approach.
But three albums into their career, here's what we know:
1. Arctic Monkeys are the best British band of the new millennium. (Sorry Franz Ferdinand, Editors, Kasabian, Kaiser Chiefs, etc.).
2. Alex Turner has the wit, intelligence, and vocal chops to be ranked among the best British singer-songwriters of the past 40 years - he's up there with the likes of Ray Davies, Pete Townsend, Paul Weller, Morrissey and Jarvis Cocker.
3. "Humbug" is a major step in the band's musical evolution-Sheffield post-punk blended with the stated influences of Cream and Jimi Hendrix and produced by Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age) and James Ford (Simian/Alex Turner's side project The Last Shadow Puppets).
The Monkeys delivered on the hype with their brilliant debut album "Whatever People Say I Am, That Is What I'm Not." They followed up with the excellent "Favourite Worst Nightmare." Now they've delivered possibly their best yet: a hard-boiled sweet called "Humbug." Along with a new maturity, there's a familiar lyrical cheekiness, too, especially on tracks like My Propeller ("I can't get it started on my own") and Crying Lightning ("My thoughts got rude as you talked and chewed/On the last of your pick'n'mix"). "Pretty Visitors" is the track most like the Monkeys of old. And standout "Cornerstone" is a song of lost love and mistaken identities reminiscent of The Who's "Disguises."
Clearly, the cheeky Monkeys have evolved into grown up rockers.
Bring on the backlash.