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Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino *
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  • Audio Mixer: James Ford .
  • Photographers: Zackery Michael; Ben Chappell .
  • It was inevitable that Alex Turner would incorporate the loungey swagger of his busman's holiday the Last Shadow Puppets into his main gig of the Arctic Monkeys, yet the soft louche touch of Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino comes as something of a shock. Chalk it up, perhaps, to the fact that Turner was a mere 32 years old when he unleashed Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino onto the world, a young age that seems older because Arctic Monkeys released their debut when he was just 19. Throughout Tranquility Base, Turner comes across as if he were much, much older than his actual age, cocking an eyebrow to a potential paramour who has the audacity to have never seen Blade Runner, and reminiscing about the '70s -- a decade he never saw. He may have been born at the height of Brothers in Arms, but Turner fetishes the swinging sci-fi '60s, winking at futurism while acknowledging that its starry potential has curdled in the digital age. Tranquility Base hints at these dashed dreams in its stylish soft contours, which are neither retro nor modern: they're hung suspended between these two extremes, sounding precisely like Alex Turner while never touching upon the frenzied, heavy roar of the Monkeys. Perhaps it's easy to miss that youthful punchiness, but the expansive aural horizons of Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino suggest there are plenty of avenues for Turner to steer Arctic Monkeys into a fruitful middle age. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Professional Reviews
Rolling Stone - "[A] lounge-pop concept record set in a casino piano bar on the moon. Turner romances his Steinway, tapping influences like French crooner Serge Gainsbourg's oily Sixties ballads..."

Spin - "The band's sixth album is undoubtedly their strangest, most alluring release to date....Guitars take a backseat to twinkling keyboards and zero-gravity ambience..."

Entertainment Weekly - "TRANQUILITY, with its baroque piano pop and arch, Bowie-esque flourishes, somehow manages to blaze whole new avenues without losing the core essence of the U.K. foursome's musical DNA."

NME (Magazine) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[A] fleshed-out, Bowie-esque statement of excess and grandeur. Lavish strings populate `One Point Perspective', and album closer `The Ultracheese' is one of the band's finest collective achievements to date..."

Pitchfork (Website) - "[A] left-turn if ever there was one, but the way Alex Turner swaps witty sleaze for absurdist suave makes it a totally bemusing and fascinating listen."

Clash (Magazine) - "Shelving stadium-ready indie rock in favour of a sparkling vintage cosmic voyage, this record marks the Monkeys' first step into a surrealist universe..."
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