Review: Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino / by David Mather

Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino is the latest album by the Arctic Monkeys. It effortlessly conveys a cool, late-evening, dancehall vibe with its keys driven melody’s and Alex Turners smooth, relaxed vocals. And those vocals deliver whimsical lyrics with brilliant lines like “My virtual reality mask is stuck on ‘Parliament Brawl’ ”.

The album is set ‘off world’ which allows for a retrospective look at our culture: “Advertise in imaginative ways, Start your free trial today” and “Everybody’s on a barge floating down the endless stream of great TV” are just two of many references to current culture and in particular how technology is changing society. There are plenty of references to the Moon, and, perhaps, ‘Tranquility’ is a direct reference to the Sea of Tranquility on the moon itself.

Highlights on the album include the opener: “Star Treatment”, “American Sports” and the title track, however I would advise listening the to the album as a complete piece, in order. The songs build upon each other, reflecting and extending themes as the tempo drifts through the album as a whole. The flow of songs from each song to the next are not audibly continuous like a dance mix tape, but perfectly balanced to be exactly a response to the previous songs ending.  

As a long time fan of the Arctic Monkeys, particularly 2013’s “AM”,  I was looking forward their new music as soon as they announced they were back in the studio, and TBH&C certainly delivers. It’s not ‘another’ Arctic Monekys record, but a new, bold, direction. One that is well received by this listener.


Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino is available on:

Apple Music