It can be difficult to view an album as a collection of songs when you’ve already heard half of them in some form, and have strong opinions on each. This has very much been the case with Arctic Monkey’s latest offering, Suck It and See.
‘Brick By Brick’, the first track shown to the public, is still as bombastic as ever in amongst the rest of the album. But it doesn’t necessarily fit in. Although, that’s no surprise, especially when you consider it was released to confuse fans and critics alike, with its lacklustre lyrics and unashamed rock ‘n’ roll energy.
That’s not to say it completely stands out as a low point (or high point, if you prefer) of the album. It bears similarities to other raucous anthems, like the riff-tastic ‘Library Pictures’. A highlight which was revealed to the public on Later… with Jools Holland not too long ago, it comes with even more nonsensical lyrics than ‘Brick by Brick’: “Give me an eenie, meenie, minie, mo / Or an ip, dip, dog shit rock ‘n’ roll”.
After Humbug cemented Turner’s reputation as an amazing lyricist, (even though the album itself was treated like marmite) Suck It and See takes a bit of a detour. Thankfully though, there is still poetry to be found in amongst the pleasantly absurd; the shimmering title track, where Turner sings “You’re rarer than a can of dandelion and burdock / and those other girls are just post-mix lemonade” is a prime example.
It would be unfair to criticise ‘Love Is a Laserquest’, for lacking the summery energy of tracks like ‘The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala’, or ‘Piledriver Waltz’. Instead it offers a different side to the album and its heart-wrenching lyrics and melancholic melodies frame it as the saddest moment.
Somewhere in between the sounds of Favourite Worst Nightmare and Humbug lies one half of this album. The other half is stuck somewhere in between Humbug and The Last Shadow Puppets’ The Age Of The Understatement. And you know what? It works. The only question left is where the hell the next album will go.