Review Summary: If you mixed all of Arctic Monkeys previous work together, the chances are you'd end up with this.
Never before has a band gripped me like the Arctic Monkeys has. 'Whatever People Say....' was music to my ears upon first listen and still remains one of my favourite albums to date. There is a certain charm about the Monkeys, which oozes originality and quirkiness; something which is a novelty in the music world of today. Experimentation is also something the Monkeys have grasped. The jump from 'Favourite Worst Nightmare' to 'Humbug' was huge in terms of its sound and opened the door to psychedelia and other similar genres. With the Monkeys' latest effort, they have mixed all of their previous work together to make something quite remarkable in places. Unfortunately, it can be bland and vacant in others.
The opener 'She's Thunderstorms' is definitely one of the highlights of the album. With Turner's voice in an unusual downbeat melodic tone and the guitars in an almost psychedelic tuning, the song grabs you and takes on a literal 'trip' through psychedelia and sadness. 'Black Treacle' and 'Brick By Brick' follow in a similar fashion, delivering musically, but not enough to become memorable. The next song 'The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala' truly is stunning and defines the Monkeys' new-found sound perfectly. The bass line of this song is incredibly catchy and leads perfectly into brilliantly sung 'shalalala' chorus, this one is sure to have fans smiling. Now we come to the fantastic 'Don't Sit Down Cause I've Moved Your Chair'. Upon first glance, the song's title seems quite unoriginal and even laughable, but it would be hugely ignorant to even consider it that. The main riff is crushing and unusually heavy for the Monkeys, however they pull it off effortlessly. The lyrics are brilliant and quirky as usual and the album, up until this point, is looking pretty astounding.
Carrying on the fantastic quality of the album thus far, we have 'Library Pictures', a personal favourite of mine. Up until this point, 'Suck It & See' has been quite a serious affair, but this song brings back early Monkeys nostalgia. With its fast and upbeat tempo riff and Turner's outlandish lyrics, the song feels like a throwback to 'Whatever People Say....', which is obviously going to have old fans (and new alike) head banging to their hearts content.
Unfortunately, towards the end of 'Suck It & See' things start to become trite and slightly bland. 'Love is a Laserquest', 'Reckless Serenade' and 'Piledriver Waltz' all seem like songs that should have been bonus tracks on 'Humbug'; they offer little and are a slight smear on what is overall a pretty brilliant album.
In conclusion, 'Suck It & See' is an album that offers a wide variety of songs for old/new fans alike to choose from. It also showcases the Monkeys maturity incredibly as virtually every song sounds different from one another and tells a different story. Apart from a few tracks, 'Suck it & See' is a hugely entertaining album that I would recommend to anyone who is a fan of rock/psychedelic rock, so come on....get on your dancing shoes.
Final rating: 3.5/5
The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala
Don't Sit Cause I've Moved Your Chair