With the Arctic Monkeys ruling the UK charts once again for the past few years, and Miles Kane pursuing several solo projects, fans of The Last Shadow Puppets haven’t heard any new material from the super duo for the past eight years – until now. The Last Shadow Puppets are finally back, returning to the music scene with the release of their new album Everything You’ve Come To Expect.
After eight years of anticipation, hopes for the album were understandably high. January saw the release of the first single, Bad Habits, which debuted a slightly different sound for the band. Gone are the poetic lyrics usually expected from Turner, with arrogant slurs and sharp, sexual statements taking their place – this is seen throughout the album, not just Bad Habits. The typical Puppets string sections arranged by Owen Pallet are, thankfully, still present throughout the song, but a heavier bass-line and Kane’s opening scream hints towards slightly rockier influences throughout the track this time around. The consistent, suspense building bassline, paired with the groovy guitar riffs at the bridge of the song makes the track sound like it could be from a 70s Bond film – a comparison that could also be made with opening track, Aviation. The release of Bad Habits as a single only increased the excitement for the release of the new material, but it is actually only reflective of the high quality of Everything You’ve Come To Expect – the rest of the album sees a variation in sound.
The album is Everything You’ve Come To Expect, but paradoxically it also isn’t. Many elements of the album are familiar, such as the Humbug-esque sounds of She Does The Woods and Used To Be My Girl, as well as the similarities between Arctic Monkey’s Fireside and The Last Shadow Puppet’s Pattern. There is clear inspiration taken from different eras, with the dreamlike vocals and unusually peppy (for the duo) sound of Miracle Aligner drawing on music from the 50s. The combination of these widely familiar influences have resulted in something completely new and exciting, and a different direction to any we have seen before from The Last Shadow Puppets.
Kane and Turner’s harmonies have much improved since their debut album, and with Kane taking more lead vocals than before, Everything You’ve Come To Expect has a much more coherent and group feel to it. Although their sound may have changed a bit, the arrogance of the duo certainly hasn’t. I want to hate the lyrics, to hate the band and hate the cocky way that they sing about sex and girls, but the smooth vocals and enticing melodies make it extremely difficult (having said that, I definitely wouldn’t say I like Kane after reading about his sexism towards a female journalist he was being interviewed by).
The Last Shadow Puppets is no longer just the side project run by the lead singer of the Arctic Monkeys. Everything You’ve Come To Expect, with its cleverly constructed string sections, and it’s poetic (yet undoubtedly arrogant) lyrics and melodies, has proven that The Last Shadow Puppets are a serious rock duo in their own right, and the album is fully deserving of any credit it is given.