The Last Shadow Puppets is the musical result of Arctic Monkeys front-man Alex Turner and The Rascal’s Miles Kane teaming up. Back in 2008, the two released their first album together, titled The Age of The Understatement, which became an almost immediate cult classic and a favorite amongst the critics. But questions were also raised: would there even be a second album? Turner moved on to produce another three albums with Arctic Monkeys, while Kane released two solo-albums. The two never ruled out another collaboration and 8 (!) years after their debut, Everything You’ve Come To Expect is there.
First things first, the album title could not have been chosen better, because the sound of Everything You’ve Come To Expect is exactly, precisely, undoubtedly what you expect of a The Last Shadow Puppets album. I do wonder if perhaps the title was chosen deliberately, if Turner and Kane wanted to outrun the critics and already point out that the album is exactly like everyone expected it to be: delightfully poppy, with brilliant Turnesque lyrics on sexuality, heartbreak and mischief, and beautiful strings performed by the London Metropolitan Orchestra.
What I love about this image above, is that is perfectly describes the feel of Everything You’ve Come To Expect. While listening to Kane’s sultry guitar sounds and Turner’s enchanting vocals, I picture the two sitting on their velours couch somewhere in the sun, wearing matching vintage tracksuits and fancy loafers. During this activity, the tracks on Everything You’ve Come To Expect were created.
Starting with the opening track “Aviation“, which is the second single after “Bad Habits” was released a couple of weeks ago. “Aviation” is a mysterious track, setting the tone for the rest of the album with subtle strings, catchy guitar tunes and melancholic lyrics sung in unison. As the matching video clips already suggest, the track is connected to the title track, “Everything You’ve Come To Expect“. This track is the odd one out of the album, as it features a combination of both the dramatic strings and an almost comical harpsichord tunes. “Miracle Aligner” is a typical TLSP track; slow and poppy, with that just right hint of nostalgia. The first single of the album, “Bad Habits” is an entirely different story. With the verses sung by Kane, the track is the epitome of mischief. Sultry lyrics are combined with sensual strings and teasing guitar tunes by Turner.
Speaking of sensual strings, they are one of the aspects of TLSP’ sound I enjoy the most. Arranged by Owen Pallett, who also worked with Turner and Kane on their debut album, the London Metropolitan Orchestra added a beautiful layer of strings to the sound. Although the strings are definitely less present on Everything You’ve Come To Expect than one the debut album, they still add that extra spark to the tracks. Especially a track like “She Does The Woods”, the strings add a certain sense of mystery and thrill to the sound.
Although Everything You’ve Come To Expect is, indeed, everything you would expect, it is still a beautiful, entertaining and, at times, enchanting album.