29th March 2021
When we talk about bravery, when the very word leaves our tongue, almost immediately 'Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino' would surely follow. For those of you who don't know ‘TBHC’ was the 2018 record from Arctic Monkeys following their highly successful ‘AM’ record. It isn't unusual for Arctic Monkeys or any other band for that matter to shift gears between records but ‘AM’ hurled the Arctic Monkeys into the spotlight, helped secure them numerous headline slots, finally take America with a sold-out tour and shut the mouths of the doubters over the years. AM was a rock record, still packed with Alex's unique, spectacular songwriting but everything felt fine-tuned. The guitars, the bass, smoothed out, turned up to the max and shot out of a metaphorical cannon. 70s rock, glam rock, modern rock, it is all present on AM. A record that very nearly arouses you because it is that damn good. Now you have that clear image, Tranquility Base followed this and just as they found their way into the big leagues, found themselves performing to sold-out American crowds, Alex decides to strip away the guitar and create a whole record about a hotel in space. The whole record was initially crafted using only a piano and the anthems are completely gone. Not yet have I said it is my favourite Arctic Monkeys record but quite truly it is. Sure, Tranquility Base is a concept record but if you dive deep enough, you see all the links to earthly politics, religion and modern-day issues. Even titles such ‘four stars out of five’ which is a song about a taco stand on the roof of a hotel in space is somehow relatable. With the big sounds gone, the strength of the record relies solely on the songwriting and boy, does it hold up. It's in no way conventional writing either, it's laced in Alex's charm and ability to build unique structures within the tracks. Star Treatment is probably one of my favourite tracks of all time which is probably the most simple instrumental Alex has ever been heard on. I fell in love with the band for the heavy sounds as did many of their core fanbase and TBHC has none of it. It's an experimental record done right. And I'm not here to ramble on and review it in its entirety, I am here to simply say l, that's bravery. That's taking a chance and believing in yourself on some new level. To take your sound and reinvent it after such a successful record when they could have simply created AM2 speaks volumes. Never be afraid to take risks in your art because even if it doesn't pay off, you learn a lot from experimentation. You discover new levels of yourself, new techniques and reach new places within yourself. Arctic Monkeys took a left turn when straight on was the easy option. Write for you. Write to express your art how you vision it. Because that's what art truly is.
Your best creative outlet comes natural. Write what you know. Write who you are.
It's the spilling
not the pulling.
It comes natural.
Gif o clock
Well, it has to be Alex Turner.
Their latest release is actually a live album and it's Hella dope. This is one of the tracks but you should listen to the full thing.
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