While you might not have been anticipating a new album from The Last Shadow Puppets (you were probably waiting for new music from one half of the duo’s main project, Arctic Monkeys), Alex Turner and Miles Kane have made their prodigal return after an eight-year hiatus with their sophomore album Everything You’ve Come to Expect. The duo released their debut album The Age of the Understatement back in 2008, and it was met with much success in the UK, boasting chart-topping singles like “Standing Next to Me,” and “My Mistakes Were Made for You.” The time off in between albums allowed for Turner and Kane to focus on other projects—the former produced a fifth studio album for his main band, while the latter worked on his solo career—but it also left fans wondering if their first collaboration would be a standalone project.
Now, the pair has reunited for another round of ‘70s-inspired rock ’n roll, citing David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust era as one of their main inspirations. Turner and Kane have even taken the psychedelics to their looks—they’ve been sporting matching tracksuits with slicked back hair to embody the spirit of the seventies. If you’re looking for a taste of their 2008 sound, however, check out the album’s opening track “Aviation” which acts as the closest reminder to the album’s predecessor.
Where The Age of the Understatement was moody and heavy on the rock, Everything You’ve Come to Expect takes a much lighter approach. In a recent interview with SPIN magazine, Turner said he was less concerned with “always telling a story” for this album and instead opted for more lighthearted, sometimes silly lyrics like on “Dracula Teeth,” “Bad Habits,” and the album’s dreamy title track. Turner, does, however resign to his signature romantic prose in tracks like “Sweet Dreams, TN” and “She Does the Woods” but errs to the side of crass on “Miracle Aligner” which bears a chorus that repeats the line “get down on your knees” several times. The more somber “The Dream Synopsis” is another standout lyrically, providing a thoughtful look into Turner’s fears of sharing his dreams with his lover, while the melody induces a side-swaying motion reminiscent of those Woodstock days.
Turner takes the lead vocally on most of the songs, but Kane gets his turn on “Used To Be My Girl” and “Pattern,” two of the tracks that are likely to be overlooked due to his less pronounced inflection.
Everything You’ve Come to Expect is, coincidentally, not at all what I expected, and while sophomore albums can be difficult to deliver, The Last Shadow Puppets have provided a fresh take on the seventies, infusing all of their influences with the same lyrical potency as their debut album.
You can catch The Last Shadow Puppets in Montreal when they perform at the Osheaga Music Festival, which takes place from July 29-31. Everything You’ve Come to Expect will be released this Friday, April 1.
4.5 out of 5 Stars
Domino Recording Company
Must Listen Tracks: “Everything You’ve Come to Expect,” “She Does the Woods,” “Sweet Dreams, TN,” “The Element of Surprise,” “The Dream Synopsis”
Buy Everything You’ve Come to Expect on iTunes here.