Skip to main content
Loading...

Featured Post

How To Convert Image To Word On Android Phones

How to Convert Image to Word onAndroid PhonesLong gone are the times where the only way to digitize something written on paper was to retype it on a computer. That was a really painful and time-consuming process. 
Just imagine students with hundreds of notes and study materials trying to digitize them all. Or stay at home moms trying to digitize their recipes so they wouldn't have them laying around the kitchen in a paper form. You could also imagine the struggle of a businessman trying to digitize tons of reports or other financial documents.

Flipboard

Flipboard

Arctic Monkeys - Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino Music Album Reviews

Arctic Monkeys - Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino Music Album Reviews
Arctic Monkeys’ daring sixth album is a left-turn if ever there was one, but the way Alex Turner swaps witty sleaze for absurdist suave makes it a totally bemusing and fascinating listen.

Alex Turner wrote Arctic Monkeys’ sixth album in Los Angeles on an upright piano in his spare room. As it took shape, he christened his makeshift studio the Lunar Surface, after the theory that Stanley Kubrick faked the Apollo moon landing on a soundstage. When Turner assembled his bandmates, they were alarmed to find he’d applied this concept literally: Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino is a song suite documenting a futuristic moon colony and the exodus that spawned it, told by an assortment of unreliable narrators who can sometimes barely string a sentence together. After 2013’s wildly successful AM, Turner is now writing lyrics in an entirely new idiom, swapping witty sleaze for absurdist suave.

Against the odds, the resulting LP finds the former street poet at his most visionary: material only he could write, performed with a charm and bravado that only he could pull off. He veers from croons to falsetto, splicing together hyperrealist satire, sham biography, and interstellar escapism. Glints of social commentary yield to the whims of his narrators—forgetful, distractible oddballs and drunk egomaniacs who have no right to be so captivating.

At a studio in an old Parisian mansion, the band dreamed up an alluring retro-futurist backdrop for Turner’s inventions. Harpsichords, vintage keyboards, and space-age synths are cobwebbed together. The music borrows from that mid-’70s moment when the Walker Brothers resembled an avant-garde funeral band, while Turner sings drolly surreal one-liners and play-acts as a vanquished lounge singer. To round off the lunar alienation he spliced his studio renditions with the raw, eccentric vocal demos he’d been recording at home.

The results of this experiment will divide, delight, bemuse, and bewilder various factions of their sizable fan base, particularly disciples of its bluesy predecessor. No singles teed up Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino, and for good reason: Barely anything here invites casual consumption. There is plenty that actively resists it, and that’s probably the point.

Turner, who is 32, has lately immersed himself in a pair of books often cited as shorthand for our modern condition: David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest and Neil Postman’s Amusing Ourselves to Death. Unlike Father John Misty, another acolyte of this pop-philosophical literature, Turner threads their ideas into quiet storms of insinuation rather than didactic frenzies. “Everybody’s on a barge floating down the endless stream of great TV,” he riffs on “Star Treatment,” one of his sassier nods to our current predicament—what Wallace called the “strange objectless unease” of immersion in visual media.

Turner later references Postman’s “information-action ratio,” the idea that our access to endless information has created a harmful international consciousness: In deciding what to care about, we are paralyzed by choice, and so care a little about everything, rather than a lot about what’s important. On “Four Out of Five,” the “Information-Action Ratio” is the name of a rooftop taqueria in Turner’s rapidly gentrifying moon colony. This is one of his pet topics, how consumerism can co-opt a salient critique and use it to sell you new stuff. Whether or not he’d accept the term, he’s descended into a kind of capitalist ennui, borne out in a sharp line crooned on “Batphone”: “I launch my fragrance called Integrity/I sell the fact that I can’t be bought.”

Even Turner’s trademark nostalgia, once fixed on ice-cream vans and “trackie bottoms tucked in socks,” gets a top-down reinvention. On album highlight “Star Treatment,” he glams up like David Bowie descending on a lunar wedding. After recalling a time when he “just wanted to be one of the Strokes,” Turner drifts into a romantic fantasy about an ex and re-emerges in their back seat, a ghost in the rear-view mirror, before taking an elevator down to Earth to resume his “make-believe residency” as a “lounge singer shimmer.” In an age of hyper-communication and rolling-news anxiety, it’s intriguing to hear Turner in this hallucinogenic state, oscillating between abstraction and narrative. His first-person encounters are inscrutable free-association yet the absurdities ring true. It’s not until you’re lured into his headspace that this dissonant poetry begins to align with our dissonant reality.

That dissonance reappears Turner’s fixation on worlds-within-worlds, the way one story can collapse into another. It’s a component of his ruptured reality, traceable to any number of preoccupations—fluid truth in the fake-news era, the wonderland of L.A., the distorting effects of celebrity or cocaine. Those same lines between reality and representation are unravelling in his Lunar Surface home-studio analogy, in the songs-within-songs of “Star Treatment,” “Science Fiction,” and “The Ultracheese,” and in the hand-carved model of a hotel-casino on the record’s cover, which Turner likens to the scaled-down replicas that hotels display in their own lobbies. He has the air of a lounge-lizard Borges, a meticulous analyst with the gloriously caddish spirit of Serge Gainsbourg, John Cooper Clarke, and Jarvis Cocker rolled into one.

Perhaps the great mystery of Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino is not its knotty themes or cryptic lyrics but what’s motivating Turner. With the keys to the most lucrative and well-oiled indie-rock band around, he’s regenerated Arctic Monkeys in service of a delirious and artful satire directed at the foundations of modern society. This is not an act of protest: Implicated in its sprawl are gentrification, consumerism, and media consumption, but rather than address these meaty topics, he strafes around them, admiring their transformation in the laboratory of his word tricks. In the end, his helpless struggle for meaning is what makes him relatable. For all this record’s hubris, the long-touted “generational voice” that is Alex Turner has never sounded more real, or more himself.

Comments

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Loading...

Popular posts from this blog

How To Add Alexa To Almost Any Speaker (With The Echo Input)

Got a Bluetooth speaker or a great-sounding hi-fi? You can add hands-free Alexa by connecting an Echo Input or Echo Dot. Here's how it's done.
If there's one aspect about the Amazon Echo that could be improved, it's sound quality. But if you have some good speakers already, perhaps an older hi-fi or a newer Bluetooth speaker, you can easily make them smart by adding Alexa.

Bitdefender Box 2 Review

It's a Wi-Fi router, but not as you know it. The Bitdefender Box 2 focuses on security and keeps all your devices safe from incoming attacks as well as any attempts to access dodgy websites or send payment details across insecure connections. Here's our review.
Should I Buy The Bitdefender Box 2?
If you want peace of mind, the Bitdefender Box 2 is well worth the money. It's a Wi-Fi router with a super-firewall and parental controls, plus the subscription includes Bitdefender Total Security 2019 and the equivalent for macOS, Android and iOS.

What is Amazon Echo? A Complete Guide

What is Amazon Echo, how does it work, what does it do and how much do the various models cost. We answer all your Amazon Echo questions in our beginner's guide.
The original Amazon Echo is a voice-activated smart speaker with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. It is now joined by several other devices in the Echo family, all of which have the Alexa voice assistant at their core.

Alita: Battle Angel Movie Review

Alita: Battle Angel, adapted from Yukito Kishiro's manga series about a female warrior cyborg with amnesia, hits theatres 11 February. Here's what we think.
Should I Buy Alita: Battle Angel Film? Alita: Battle Angel attempts to tell a story that is no doubt complex, but struggles to parse it in a way that offers a clear focus and progress. Yet it’s easy to lose sight of this when you’re enjoying supremely slick fight sequences in a hyperreal CG universe. It's a film that tries to run before it can walk.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Release Date And Specs Rumours

Samsung's new wireless earbuds are rumoured to come with various improvements. Read about the Galaxy Buds.
There are plenty of rumoured Samsung devices for an upcoming launch event, and you can add Galaxy Buds to the pile. Here’s what we know about the wireless headphones.

Like Fan Page