Arctic Monkeys - Humbug (Vinyl)

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LP pressing on gatefold 180-gram vinyl. 2009 release, the third album from Sheffield's Arctic Monkeys. Humbug finds the band brimming with vim, vigor and new ideas. They brought in a new production accomplice, Josh Homme (Queens of The Stone Age), for some of the recording. He generously hosted and produced tracks with them at his Joshua Tree studio. Then they rejoined forces with James Ford (Simian Mobile Disco), producer of the previous two Arctic Monkeys and Last Shadow Puppets albums, in Brooklyn, NY, to complete the tracks that became "Humbug." The album is a stunning set of songs both heavier and more lush than previous albums but still full of the Monkeys usual punch and vitality.

This is entrancing, stoner rock - an album that is greater than the sum of its parts. The bass and drum rhythms are haunting from start to finish, and the melodies draw the listener in. However - and I cannot say whether this is a compliment or a criticism - I'm not sure whether to think of this as the third Arctic Monkeys album, or the latest Queens of the Stone Age. It seems that Josh Homme took the Arctic Monkeys into the studio and recorded a Desert Sessions - stoner melodies, thumping drums, sexual references in the lyrics. In seeking a new direction, the Arctic Monkeys really only hit the nail on the head with their excellent fourth album, Suck It and See. Here, they're a bit too imitative to be innovative. Nevertheless, originality issues aside, Humbug is quite good, and worth buying. Stand-outs are "My Propeller," "Crying Lightning," and "Potion Approaching." 

By: Bobby Allen.

A1 My Propeller
A2 Crying Lightning
A3 Dangerous Animals
A4 Secret Door
A5 Potion Approaching
B1 Fire And The Thud
B2 Cornerstone
B3 Dance Little Liar
B4 Pretty Visitors
B5 The Jeweller's Hands

Catalogue Number: WIGLP220

Record Label: Domino Records.    

Tracks A2, A3, A5, B1, B3, B4 and B5 recorded at Pink Duck Studios and Rancho de la Luna by Josh Homme.
Tracks A1, A4, B2 recorded at Mission Sound, Brooklyn by James Ford.

Sticker on cover says "180g heavyweight virgin vinyl, comes with MP3s" (release actually includes a coupon insert with a free code for free downloading of a digital version of the album).