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Album Review - Arctic Monkeys: "Suck It and See"
What would you expect to hear from an album entitled Suck It and See? At first blush, it’s easy to envision most people would probably expect something lewd, or inherently vulgar, in nature. Well, shock, horror! Once all chuckling reflexes have been exhausted from the – let’s just say “provocative” – album title, you’ll find Suck It and See is a charming collection of post-punk revival ballads. Even the album’s namesake track, “Suck It and See”, is a soft-toned love song delicately sprinkled with a vintage 1950’s vibe. Arctic Monkeys pulled a fast one, & their cunning use of double entendre screams, “In your face, premature judgers!”
The album is presented with some stylistic discord, though, as if frontman Alex Turner wanted to pour his heart out about love, but still maintain the band’s punk rock cred. “Library Pictures” & “Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair” are head-banging tracks that seem to have been haphazardly strewn among a bed of darling tracks, including “She’s Thunderstorms”, “The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala”, & “Reckless Serenade”. In “Black Treacle”, Turner sings a telling line, “I feel like the Sundance kid behind a synthesizer.” In terms of track-by-track cohesiveness, this sentiment of being “out-of-place” rings true for the few grunge-style tracks in Suck It and See. Maybe the album would’ve been better without, but then again, maybe not. Maybe it’s necessary to include an incongruous mix of styles to develop a deeper appreciation for the more “experimental” tracks. However minor the album’s shortcomings, they’re redeemed by pensive lyrics & catchy melodies.
Although some heads turned away at Arctic Monkeys’ new creative direction in this fourth studio album, the vast majority of the English indie rock band’s fanbase remains unflinching, ready to absorb the musical products of fresh perspectives. So, for those of you who took one look at the title of this album & decided its contents can’t possibly be for you, you’re missing out on something sweet – Suck It and See.