The Last Shadow Puppets - The Age of the Understatement

The Last Shadow Puppets are Alex Turner (Arctic Monkeys) and Miles Kane (The Rascals). The pair were so inspired by listening to Scott Walker and early David Bowie that they recorded this album of twelve songs that are lush, huge in scope and full of wonderful melodies and lyrics. They also enlisted the help of the 22-piece London Metropolitan Orchestra, which is nice.

Many who are fans of their other works may be disappointed as this album is a departure from their well know sounds. The album starts of with 'The Age of the Understatement', which is also the first single. It sets the tone nicely for the rest of the album. I gives the listener a sample of the strings, guitars and sweeping vocals that are to come throughout the album. I was actually pleasantly surprised at how well produced and vibrant the album is. It also really captures the feel of that 60' and 70's sound. Quite a few of the tunes could easily have been part of any James Bond soundtrack.

The tracks I would have you sample, to see if you would like this album, are 'Separate and Ever Deadly' for the vocal harmonies and great guitar work, 'Black Plant ' for the sweeping strings and catchy chorus and 'The Time has come again' for the great lyrics and gentle melodies of a sad lament (which is also the album closer) that seems to be based on a love lost (actually, the whole album seems based on it). Grief never sounded so good.

I am a fan of the "retro" movement that seems to be going around as of late (see other acts like Duffy), but I am also a fan of bands that pay homage to their inspirations without ripping them off. This album succeeds on that level in spades.

8 out of 10


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