I credit Jenny for getting me into Alex Turner and all of his fantastic work over the last 10 years. While I definitely prefer the work of the Arctic Monkeys overall, I felt it would be worth featuring a Shadow Puppet's album as less people have made time to listen to them. The Last Shadow Puppets are Alex Turner and Miles Kane's side project, a baroque rock band they have created together that still manages to have its own identity. The two albums they have released certainly have snippets of Arctic Monkeys and the lesser known Rascals, but they also break new ground in some exciting new ways.
This record brings strings in a big way, similar to the first. This time they have a full 29 piece orchestra, recorded all from Rick Rubin's famous Shangri La studio. It also still prominently features those trademark crooning vocals from both leads. That is pretty much where the similarity ends, however, which is why I was so impressed when I first listened to this one. This band has had ten years since their first release, and in that time period they have gone from 21 year old British punk rockers practicing in garages to become real musicians. I know there are some who much prefer their untamed punk rock sound, but for me, this is a band that will only get better as they continue to refine their sound.
"Used to Be My Girl" and "The Dream Synopsis" are my two highlights from the album. The first has a Western feel to it and some serious self-loathing, yet sung in a way that you can tell they're both proud and disgusted by themselves. I love how this song closes itself out, so very classic rock sounding and distinctly still their own. "The Dream Synopsis" is a much slower track, sounding a bit like some of Turner's work with the Arctic Monkeys, but possessing a very dreamlike quality that could very well belong at The Roadhouse in Twin Peaks. Any Last Shadow Puppets performance could probably meet the challenge of performing on Twin Peaks, something you could never say about the Arctic Monkeys or even the band itself 10 years ago. They've come a long way since then and I look forward to the inevitable conclusion to this trilogy 10 years from now.
1."Aviation" - 3:43
2."Miracle Aligner" - 4:05
3."Dracula Teeth" - 2:51
4."Everything You've Come to Expect" - 3:13
5."The Element of Surprise" - 2:52
6."Bad Habits" - 3:00
7."Sweet Dreams, TN" - 3:56
8."Used to Be My Girl" - 2:55
9."She Does the Woods" - 3:30
10."Pattern" - 4:15
11."The Dream Synopsis" - 3:03