Review Summary: Josh Homme is the white rabbit that the Arctic Monkeys have followed all the way down to a musical wonderland.
Track 1. “My Propeller” (3:28)
Out of all of the songs in the album, I don’t think this one makes for a good opening track but that does not mean this is not a good song, far from it. The guitars truly shine on this track (Especially the ending solos). Alex Turner and Jaime Cook really did a great job with guitar effects on this album. Especially from the beginning, the guitars create a very smooth and hypnotic sound. Matt Helder’s drumming is also something to notice in this song. It’s a very smooth sounding song instrumentally, the lyrics are a bit strange. The lyrics of the song are apparently about erectile dysfunction or a diminished libido, still it's quite an odd thing for Alex Turner to write about…. I am quite certain that Josh Homme had something to do with the writing process of the lyrics. It just screams Queens Of The Stone Age. My rating: 5/5.
Track 2. “Crying Lightning” (3:43)
This is the first standout from the album, and a fan favorite. This song has a more faster pace than the opening track, and is one of the heaviest in the album. And again, the guitars truly shine once again. Jaime Cook with his trippy guitars effects, Alex performing rhythm guitar and a good solo near the end and Nick O’Malley’s bass-lines are hypnotic. The whole song has a dark and psychedelic “twangy” sound that makes the song truly addicting. My rating: 5/5.
Track 3. “Dangerous Animals” (3:25)
To be honest, this song is “Ok”, at best. It isn’t anything special, but it has some great trippy effects. The bass playing and drumming are also quite good, in fact, for any drummers who are fans of the Arctic Monkey’s, you should check out Matt Helder’s drumming on this one. This is one of those songs you have to listen to a few times to like it, and even then, it isn’t as good as the rest of the songs. My rating: 3/5
Track 4 “Secret Door” (3:44)
This is a great song. Alex’s lyrical writing is actually quite good on this one. The song has an almost “Dream-like” atmosphere that makes it quite catchy. This song is beautifully orchestrated from beginning to end, every member truly shines on this one and is definitely a highlight. My rating: 5/5
Track 5 “Potion Approaching” (3:33)
In my opinion, the intro is a bit awkward but then again, I wouldn’t know how else to started it. This is another heavy one, and like “Dangerous Animals”, it’s one you have to listen to a few times to truly appreciate it. It isn’t a bad song per se, but it isn’t great. The lyrics are also quite strange, some have argued that it describes an LSD trip, which kind of makes sense. It’s actually quite enjoyable after a few listens. My rating: 3/5
Track 6 “Fire and the Thud” (3:50)
“Fire and the Thud”, this is the highlight of the album in my opinion and also my favorite song by the Arctic Monkeys. This is the reason why I bought this album and my introduction to the Arctic Monkeys. The song starts of with a slow guitar intro accompanied by maracas, then enters the trippy effects and echoing vocals and from there it takes off into a pretty slow but smooth psychedelic tempo that is just hypnotizing throughout the whole song and ends on a loud high note. This is definitely one of the “trippiest” songs I have ever heard and if you like to listen to music when you're high, this is one to check out. From beginning to end, this is a psychedelic masterpiece, yes, masterpiece. It’s trippy, it's dark, it's hypnotic, and addicting- like a drug. Everyone is at their very best and there is also a guest singer at the end, Alison Mosshart from The Kills and The Dead Weather. I also like Alex’s singing on this one, I don’t know why, I just do. My rating: 6/5
Track 7 “Cornerstone” (3:18)
This song is completely different from all the other songs on the album, but it’s a catchy little number. It is actually placed very awkwardly in the album, in my opinion. It doesn’t sound anything like its predecessor or the following song because it is actually quite innocent and sweet sounding. Instrumentally it has a poppy sound and has a slight touch of psychdelia. It also features an acoustic guitar playing throughout the song and can easily pass as a ballad. The lyrics are actually what make this song great, it tells the story of a guy that can't get over a girl, and he searches for traces of her but only finds her image in other girls. Alex's poetic sense of story-telling makes this a very beautiful and enjoyable song. My rating: 5/5
Track 8 “Dance Little Liar” (4:44)
This song returns to the dark psychedelic feel of the album, and I think this song would have been a great opening track just because of the way it starts and the overall flow of the song reflects the album’s sound. This is a great song, the bass-line is amazing on this one as well as the trippy effects and the drumming adds a hypnotic beat. It follows the same formula of “Fire and the Thud” of starting of quietly, a slow tempo throughout and ending powerfully, though this one fades out with Matt Helder’s drumming. There’s really nothing else to say about this song, it’s just a really good song. My rating: 5/5
Track 9 “Pretty Visitors” (3:41)
This is the loudest and heaviest song on the album. It has a pretty cool organ intro and it appears throughout the song. It’s has a very surprisingly spastic sound that makes it stand-out from the rest of the songs on the album. It’s very “Bipolar”, going from slow to fast at random and ending slowly as it fades out. I think it’s a very good song, it’s definitely worth a listen. My rating: 5/5
Track 10 “The Jeweller's Hands”
And finally, the denouement. The song has a very slow tempo like most of the songs. The guitars are great on this song, especially the bass-lines. There’s also some pretty cool solos towards the end. He also sings them with a voice that couldn’t be more perfect fitting, the ending verse especially. My Rating: 6/5