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.