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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Monkeys have evolved
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...
Published on 28 Sep 2009 by Richard Hine

versus
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Remarkably dull...
This is one of those records that, having read all the reviews, I felt duty bound to listen to over and over again. Unfortunately to these ears it doesn't sound any better for repeated playing. Regarding the Artic Monkeys, I just don't get it; leaden guitar riffs abound and there is a lack of any musical light and shade or just a decent melody (Cornerstone being the one...
Published on 19 Nov 2009 by D. L. Young


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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Monkeys have evolved, 28 Sep 2009
This review is from: Humbug (Audio CD)
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.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This Sounds Like a Nightmare!!!, 15 Sep 2009
By 
Toby Staunton "dancing mole" (Derbyshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Humbug (Audio CD)
This time around the Monkeys have decided not to try and make `What Ever People Say I am...' again. That was an album that a band gets to make once and it should be left at that. The decision then to work with Josh Homme and James Ford was a very good idea. From the start you can see the results. `My Propeller' is dark and moody with subtle menace. First single `Crying Lightning' is then a plodding and intriguing track that grows into spitting venomous chorus. Yet through that Turner's pop sensibilities hold it up as something really good. Ironically the thing actually now feels like a dream or a nightmare with tracks like `Dangerous Animals', `Secret Door', `Fire and the Thud' and `Dance Little Liar'.

Ultimately everybody's influence on it is carefully balanced to create a coherent and original whole. It will be interesting to see what they do with the tracks live, but for now this is solid and promising from one of Britain's brightest hopes.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Give it time, 26 Aug 2009
This review is from: Humbug (Audio CD)
I'm dismayed about the number of negative reviews for this album. Personally I think this is their best album to date. I agree it has not got the instant pop rock feel of 'Whatever...' but it has a far more complex layered sound that takes repeated listens to really appreciate. We have become far too dependent on the instant gratification that pop records provide: the sugar rush. However, instant short term pleasure often leads to long term disappointment. Give this album time and reap the reward of dark, subtle and brooding classic.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars they're getting better al the time, 1 Sep 2009
By 
This review is from: Humbug (Audio CD)
This album sounds different but distinktively the same, It's different It's calmer and more relaxed. But this shows that these guys are going to stick around for a long time, they are not afraid of doing things different.
I liked this album from the first spin. The production is cleaner (that's also a good thing)
I think these guys are getting better al the time, their musical skills are amazing!

1st album was good, 2nd album even better, than he did that last shadow puppets project and that was suprisingly different and refreshing, and again they have impressed me.
This band is a breath of fresh air in our somewhat dull music industry!

so i recomment this album it's strong it's got beautiful melodies, and the drummer is just amazing! they all are
this is a band that will stand the test of time, and with every effort they are better and different!

and change is good! no it's not a full on in your face rock album like the first two although even on the second album 'favourite worst nightmare' they started to show a different side to them, so this a just a perfect follow up and a step up for them!
enjoy!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marmite Of Albums, 30 Aug 2009
By 
R. Forest (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Humbug (Audio CD)
I was fortunate enough to receive a promo copy of the album several months ago, and for me (a massively obsessed fan of the Arctic Monkeys) this is in keeping with some of their best work, the reason I think some people don't seem to like it is that they've changed their style and their inspiration slightly, but like most bands they want to experiment if they had produced another album with identical stuff to WPSIATWIN or FWN then people would be annoyed because it would be way too similar, this way they mix things up, and they do still keep their uniqueness in many of the songs, the guitar melodies in secret door from Jamie Cook is very similar to that of Fluorescent Adolescents. The really avant-garde songs in this album in my opinion are ones such as Jeweler's Hands and Pretty Visitors, both of these songs work really well.

From this album there are a few shining gems, such as Cornerstone, My Propeller and Dangerous Animals.

Overall I think this is another huge success for the Monkeys, who knows what their next album will be like.....
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best bands of the moment, 26 Aug 2009
This review is from: Humbug (Audio CD)
Anyone looking for same again will be disappointed.

Arctic Monkeys are one of the best bands of the moment and look set to develop into one of the great rock bands.

Lyrically and musically strong. Not afraid to experiment. Cool. Great name. What more could you want? Oh yeah, they're also young and although you can tell that they have a good knowledge of rock and roll history, they're not beholden to it.

In 2006 Arctic Monkeys took a return ticket from Sheffield to somewhere. They haven't reached that mystery destination yet, but sure are enjoying the journey. I suggest that we, the listeners, grab a complimentary hot chocolate and join them.

ps - I bought Humbug on vinyl with the free Mp3 downloads - excellent, best of both worlds.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not a classic, but an admirable effort, 4 Sep 2009
By 
Eddie Watson (Hertfordshire, ENG) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Humbug (Audio CD)
Third albums are tricky, especially when the hype that came along with "Monkey mania" is wearing off and they can finally do what they want to do with their music. First off, if you're expecting the typical fast paced style of the first album and the majority of the second, then you'll no doubt be disappointed on the whole. However, the fast paced songs on this album may only be about half of the songs, (Potion Approaching and Pretty Visitors being my personal favourites) the lightning pace of these songs are as good as any other Arctic album tracks.

This as well as the slower songs having Turner's typically witty vocals, with 'Secret Door' having the feel of a sing along classic after a few listens. A lot of the slower songs also seem to have the feel of The Last Shadow Puppets, but much more accomplished in my opinion!

On the other hand, the downside of this album for Arctic Monkeys fans is the split between these fast paced songs which made them so adored and hyped, and the slower numbers. It's quite literally split 50/50 but if you like the songs 'Do Me A Favour' and 'Only Ones Who Know' from the last album then this won't bother you at all.

On the whole, this is a very decent album. Although, this is not the one I'd make my future children listen to if I wanted them to get into Arctic Monkeys. In comparison to the other 2 albums, which feel like they've truly captured the music scene in the 21st century, Humbug is not a classic but an amicable effort nonetheless.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Monster mash, 27 Aug 2009
By 
J. Jenkins (Dudley Port, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Humbug (Audio CD)
Any fears stoked that this is The Arctic Monkeys' sellout album; an attempt to smooth off their rough edges and thereby 'break America', (à la Kings of Leon's Only By The Night) can be put to bed. Humbug is an album of singularity equal to, although very different from, their first two records.

Musically, the combination of hard rock, post punk and Hammer Horror trappings has left them sounding something like the 80s Matchbox B Line Disaster to my ears, with a dash of math rock's structures and Josh Homme's own desert rock aesthetic thrown in to boot.

The band have also forgone the full tilt punk attack of their previous output in favour of steamroller tempos and dense arrangements that owe more to metal. Jamie Cook alternates between atmospheric, sustained guitar lines and a jabbing, tenacious attack, and the band also make creative use of creepy fairground organ and ghostly backing vocals. But it's Matt Helders who proves himself the star here; providing purpose to the slower burn numbers, holding the more complex songs together during their turn on a dime changes and sounding like he's trying to destroy his kit during the heaviest, most electrifying moments.

Curiously enough for such a self conciously heavy affair, Humbug also contains the band's two most gorgeous melodies to date in the form of Secret Door and Cornerstone, the latter a ballad reminiscent of Blur or The Smiths and therefore somewhat less of a curveball than the rest of the album.

The other big change here is in Alex Turner's lyrical style, which eschews the poetry of the everyday for straight up poetry; dense with metaphor and allusion. The boy meets girl subject matter remains essentially unchanged, but is here viewed through a filter of sexual obssession, celebrity and fantastical imagery. It's more Harmony Korine than Alan Bennett, but in a way gentler than 'Whatever' and 'Favourite'. The paparazzi stalked It girl of Secret Door, who you suspect would have come in for a kicking at the pen of Jarvis or Damon Albarn, is treated with surprising reverence. Those with an affection for Turner's barbed wit or everyman perspective may be a little disappointed as a result, but it's further indication of the band's willingness to push themselves and evolve.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly unexpected, 14 Sep 2009
By 
This review is from: Humbug (Audio CD)
I remember when the Arctic Monkeys' last album came out, Favourite Worst Nightmare, playing it was an explosion of great rock to dance to. Since I wasn't following the band to closely, that was kind of what I expected over again, but the album couldn't be further from it. This new album still features their trademark sound, only slightly chilled out... totally unexpected. And they are brilliant at it. The lyrics are still smart, the sound is great, guitars are superb, drums are banging hard, but somehow it feels so well chilled... a must have, and a brilliant evolution for a great band.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible, 28 Aug 2009
By 
Mr. D. J. Connop (Bristol UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Humbug (Audio CD)
Dark, brooding and truely truely brilliant. It got me on the first listen and just gets better and better on each play. I have had my ipod surgically attached so I don't miss a moment to listen to this masterpiece. Yes very different from the previous albums but the swagger and cockiness is still there in buckets. I can't believe the negative reviews from people who clearly loved the first two albums but don't get this one. Each to there own but I am so glad that I am one of the people who do get it, its just pure pure class.
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Humbug
Humbug by Arctic Monkeys
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