Sound of Music: Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino

MUSICAL CHANGE. The Arctic Monkeys made major changes to their sound for their newest album.

Domino Records

MUSICAL CHANGE. The Arctic Monkeys made major changes to their sound for their newest album.

Sophie Williams, Staff

The Story:

On May 11, 2018, The Arctic Monkeys released their sixth studio album, “Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino”, following their award-winning 2013 album “AM”. This five-year gap between albums caused big differences in the sound of their music. With this controversial change in music, “Tranquility Base” brought a unique and new taste to the Arctic Monkeys after lead vocalist Alex Turner received a piano for his 30th Birthday.

The Arctic Monkeys are an alternative rock band from Sheffield, England. The band was formed in 2002 by lead singer Alex Turner and guitarist Jamie Cook. They added drummer Matt Helders and bass player Andy Nicholson to the band. Andy Nicholson later left and was replaced by Nick O’Malley.

After the success of the Arctic Monkeys fifth album “AM”, Alex Turner did not know what kind of songs to write for a new album. He took a five year break from the band to make music with Miles Kane, James Ford and Zach Dawes in their band “The Last Shadow Puppets”. He started writing music for “Tranquility Base” after The Last Shadow Puppets album “Everything You’ve Come to Expect” released in April 2016.

The Good:

The band’s use of new instruments was very different than the instruments used on their previous albums. The style the band was used to playing changed quite a bit. “Tranquility Base” uses instruments such as the electric guitar, bass, and drums, but also organs and pianos.

The album has been noted for having the sounds of lounge pop, space pop, glam rock and psychedelic pop. “Tranquility Base” was nominated for a Grammy for best rock performance for the single “Four Out of Five” and best alternative music album.

The lyrics are different, creative, unique, and helped create a new sound unlike the generic alternative rock in the Arctic Monkeys’ previous work. .For example, the song “Four out of five” details specific imagery:

“Advertise in imaginative ways

Start your free trial today

Come on in, the water’s lovely

Look, you could meet someone you like

During the meteor strike

It is that easy

Lunar surface on a Saturday night

Dressed up in silver and white

With colored old grey whistle test lights”

The Bad:

Although the Arctic Monkeys took a turning point in the music they make, fans’ and listeners had different reactions to this album. The album was good and refreshing after the 5 year break from the band, but the theme of it was not a very common style of music and not a complete priority in most listeners’ musical tastes.

The Album was admirable, yet the difference in their previous albums created a strange break between what their fans expected and what they band delivered.

The Bottom Line:

“Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino”, despite mixed reviews, still brings a new and unique sound that will bring a new wave of lyrics and melodies to fans’ ears.

Rating: B+