The Last Shadow Puppets: The sophomore album you’ve come to expect

By pcsanchez7505

There’s something inherently sexy about The Last Shadow Puppets’ (TLSP) music. The band, a side project formed by Arctic Monkeys’ front man Alex Turner and British musician Miles Kane, has a blatant sensuality.

Their music falls somewhere between a 50s doo-wop tune and 60s rock ‘n’ roll. It’s clever, serenading and a little dark. TLSP’s first album, “The Age of Understatement,” was released circa 2007 after which they toured infrequently then stepped away to return to their main bands. Fans of the duo wanted more but were met with silence.

Last year though, TLSP announced they were working on a new album. On April 1, “Everything You’ve Come To Expect” was released to hungry fans.

Aptly titled, it’s everything you’d want and expect to hear from Turner and Kane. Their innate chemistry on stage and in the studio shines through brilliant lyrics and infectious melodies. It’s an album oozing with sensuality, and admittedly is a little self-indulgent. But, the instrumentals and vocals give it a smooth sound that would feel right at home in a James Bond film where sex, danger and desire all collide. It has a lingering feeling to it, rolling and oh so cool, but still heavy and very rock ‘n’ roll.

The first half of “Everything You’ve Come To Expect” is filled with gorgeous songs that include strings, heavy guitar riffs and crooning vocals. Turner and Kane let you know right from the beginning they’re here to set bodies in motion in one way or another.

“Aviation” starts the album off with an eerie screech that wheels into a fast paced and melodic tune. The song is powerful with a certain sexual prowess that quite simply makes you feel aloof and a little ostentatious – walking down the street while listening to this song clad in a leather jacket, boots and pomade would fit perfectly.

“Miracle Aligner” on the other hand is a little softer. It’s sensual, but not in a conventional way. The lyrics are undoubtedly filled with desire, but there’s a beautiful innocence to a not so innocent song. Lyrics, melody and vocals line up effortlessly in a song all about idiosyncrasies when the lights are low.

“So what’s the wish you’ll make it come true, simple as a line out of a doo-wop tune. He’ll make the moves … But he can’t deny he was born to blow your mind, or something along those lines.”

The album is smooth, a little wrong but makes you feel satisfied in just the right way. It creeps up on you slowly, pulls you in and hooks you into an endless reel of sexuality and dark desire. It has the element of surprise, which coincidentally is the name of the fifth track, a slinky number filled with colorful lyrics.

“The trouble with the chase is it’s so easy to crash/why color in the lines if you’re just painting it black?”

Turner’s lyrics are at times vague and other times incredibly personal. In “Sweet Dreams, TN” Turner admits the lyrics are more like a love letter, and he only felt comfortable recording it after he received permission from the recipient. The song is sweet, somber and extremely honest with just a bit of an edge.

“I just sort of always sort of feel sick without you baby. I ain’t got anything to lick without you baby. Nothing seems to stick without you baby. Ain’t I fallen in love.”

While the lyrics in “Sweet Dreams, TN” are earnest and honest, “Used To Be My Girl” is the complete opposite. It’s probably my favorite song off the album just because the lyrics are so dark and gritty with striking vocals and instrumentals to match.

“I’m a phony. I’m a fake, a fraud, a snake. Give me all your love so I can fill you up with hate.”

It depicts a crooked and toxic love, but the melody makes you want to shake and jive like you’re at a 1960s underground party.

The album does come off as self-indulgent at times. Turner and Kane leave no room for doubt about their sexy rock star status, but the duo comes together to write some striking lyrics.

In “The Dream Synopsis” Turner recounts his times spent fawning over a girl. Melodically, it’s the most different on the album. It’s slower and comes off as a conversation set to music.

“Visions of the past and possible future, Shoot through my mind and I can’t let go, Inseparable opposing images. When can you come back again?”

“Everything You’ve Come To Expect is a great sophomore album for TLSP and features other musicians such as Mini Mansion’s guitarist Zach Dawes. The group is a collaboration of friends and the album, an experimental project that for the most part, holds together very well.

TLSP will continue to tour in the United States with a few stops at major festivals including Coachella and Outside Lands. You can listen to more of their music via their website.

Essential Tracks: “Aviation,” “Miracle Aligner,” “Sweet Dreams, TN” and “Everything You’ve Come to Expect”

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