Review Summary: The Arctic Monkeys take a risk, but it's well worth the reward.
The Arctic Monkeys arrived on the music scene in a big way in 2005 with their single "I Bet That You Look Good on the Dancefloor." Additionally, their debut album Whatever You Say I Am, That's What I'm not was the best selling debut album in England ever. So some were shocked that for their third release, Humbug, that the Monkeys would depart from their well-established post-punk sound in favor for something heavier and dark. In this case, the reward more than makes up for the risk.
Track 1- My Propeller: While this track certainly won't blow your mind, it does a good enough job for setting up the mood for the album. 3.5/5
Track 2- Crying Lightning: The first single off the album and it's clear why. Starts off a bit somber and slowly builds up to angry throughout and it is littered with spooky guitar lines that really flesh out the mood. Alex Turner's lyrics are as sharp as ever. One of the best songs on the album. 5/5
Track 3- Dangerous Animals: Undeniably catchy, this song will have you chanting D-A-N-G-E-R-O-U-S before long. They also somehow pull off this idea without it sounding silly. Turner's lyrics are again the highlight. "Been fighting with my sheets, And nearly crying in my sleep ,Yes, I'm battling that well taught gripe ,The most restraining type ,You should have racing stripes." 4/5
Track 4- Secret Door: Another solid track, but decidedly softer than the previous few, while maintaining the same mood. This song demonstrates Turner's disdain for the London club scene, or perhaps fame. 4/5
Track 5- Potion Approaching: Definitely the most psychedelic song on the album, and it reminds me a bit of Cream. It starts off with a driving, funky riff and features some surreal lyrics scattered throughout. "Yours is the only ocean I want to swing from, yours is the only ocean I want to hang on." 4.5/5
Track 6- The Fire and the Thud: This song starts fairly soft and builds the tension up unto an explosive guitar solo, which perfectly suits the song. Bonus points for more terrific lyrics and a back-up vocals guest appearance by The Kills Alison Mossheart. 4/5
Track 7- Cornerstone: Recently announced as the second single and it makes sense as this is probably the most radio friendly track. I can't help but like this song, though. It's about the protagonist who starts seeing his lover's face everywhere he looks. As corny as it sounds, it's genuinely sweet. 4.5/5
Track 8- Dance Little Liar: The most forgettable song on the album, although still pretty good. It works with the progression of the album really well, it's just not very compelling on its own. 3/5
Track 9- Pretty Visitors: Just when you think that the Monkeys forgot where they came from, they send this one your way. Starting off with a haunting organ, it then jumps straight into a fast-paced assault, at one point asking "What came first, the chicken or the dickhead?" 4.5/5
Track 10- Jeweler's Hand: Rounding out the album is the terrific Jeweler's Hand. This one kind of sneaks up on you, lulling you to sleep before cautiously waking you up before it's finale. 4.5/5