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Arctic Monkeys

Bah, Humbug: The Arctic Monkeys slow down on latest LP.
Guy Aroch

UK overnight stars Arctic Monkeys' first two albums, 2006's Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not and '07's Favourite Worst Nightmare, were as wired as a speed freak after a night mainlining caffeine and diet pills. Furthermore, although it's normally a little difficult to imagine anything associated with Queens of the Stone Age being truly "mellow" — except maybe sexxxy love-jam "Make It Witchu," from Queens' 2007 LP Era Vulgaris — everything is relative, and as produced by QOTSA main man Josh Homme, the Monkeys' new album Humbug takes just enough edge off to leave the impression that the redheaded stoner-rock god may have actually taught the Monkeys how to relax. (Yoga, we're sure.) The smoldering pace of songs like "Crying Lightning," "Pretty Visitor" and "Dance Little Liar" doesn't necessarily mean the Sheffield-spawned band has gotten lazy, just perhaps a bit more mature, a feeling mirrored in front man Alex Turner's never-more-incisive lyrics.


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