First things first. This is a very different Arctic Monkeys album. If it's AM (Part Two) you're after-this isn't it. Remember when Blur changed direction with 13? Or when Radiohead jumped off the commercial ship for the deeper waters of Kid A and beyond? Well, now it's the turn of Arctic Monkeys who have delivered what can only be described as a seismic shift in their own direction with Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino.
And the best thing is it works! If an album isn't instantly recognisable this can be a very good thing (see Talk Talk Spirit Of Eden) and there ARE several discernably indie-Monkeys moments in She Looks Like Fun and Four Out Of Five but there's also hip hop beats, lots of keyboards and a quite beautiful album closer in The Ultracheese.
There's lots of interesting curveballs on this truly ambitious record. Six albums in and maybe the Arctic Monkeys are only now really getting going...if you only take a chance on one album this year give Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino a try as repeated plays will bring big rewards!
Vinyl Revolution Album of the week.
Standard black vinyl - £24
Limited edition clear vinyl - £27