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Customer Review

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The shape of things to come, 15 Feb. 2012
This review is from: The Age of the Understatement (Audio CD)
This album really surprised me as I was expecting something that sounds a lot like the Arctic Monkeys. But, the record instead sounds symphonic, epic and majestic instead.

Nevertheless, there's still a poppy, catchy side to the music that naturally reminds listeners of the Arctic Monkeys and the Little Flames.

Alex Turner's voice highly articulate style doesn't always suit this kind of music and hence Miles Kane the last authentic hero from Liverpool. If someone finds Scott Walker's or The Corals glorious music because of this album, Last Shadow Puppets have done their job.

Alex Turner and Miles Kane decided to form the side-project The Last Shadow Puppets after both expressed an affinity for the baroque pop stylings of the 60s while touring together in 2007. Depending on your perspective, it's either an attempt to update the highly orchestrated sound or pure retro pastiche and while The Last Shadow Puppets would prefer to be seen as doing the former, it too often ends up being the latter.

The problem is that this is baroque pop made by lads, for lads and consequently doesn't have any of the emotional resonance, romanticism or depth that you would get from a Scott Walker. Ultimately, is its greatest weakness as neither Kane nor Turner has enough experience, emotional maturity or a subtle enough hand to use the drama of the arrangements as anything more than window dressing. After three or four tracks, the orchestration and heavily echoed vocals start to feel like obligatory reverence to the source material.

On a positive note, apart from two tracks, most run under three minutes, giving the album a brisk pacing, and the songs bristle with an energy that's not generally associated with baroque pop. The melodies and upbeat quality of those songs hit the nail on the head when it comes to the 60's pop they were aiming to emulate Unfortunately, everything seems rushed and impatient, never letting any of the arrangements breathe, and therefore winds up sounding superficial and superfluous.

Orchestration and popular rock music ain't no strangers, but they sound generated here lacks in signature humour and raggedy anger, the whole of The Age Of The Understatement is a sweeping panorama of intellectual romanticism, occasionally performed with a whiff of aloofness but always falling on the right side of pretentiousness with musical touchstones are everywhere. "In My Room" opens like a rejected sixties James Bond theme. "

I've no idea whether there are future plans to reunite The Last Shadow Puppets but let's hope so. Despite the criticism this album is better than every single Arctic Monkeys album, except for Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not and better than every single Rascals album full stop.

The years has passed by and Alex and mile have matured and developed their own identity albeit still drenched in 60's romanticism

Check out Colour of the Trap by Miles Kane or Suck It and See by the Artic Monkeys with hindsight this is the sound the Puppets were looking for

Its is however a sad fact that in this digital age and throw away music talent like Alex and Miles and their allies such as the Coral and Eva Peterson will largely go unnoticed
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 21 Feb 2012, 05:31:07 GMT
JBEvans says:
Luckily there are still plenty of people out there who like "proper" music, so Alex's and Miles' talents will definitely not go unnoticed ;-).
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