Here’s a confession: I’m a sucker for the next big thing. When I first heard
And then came the growing pains. Subsequent records found the Monkeys diversifying their sound with diminishing results (at least in comparison to Whatever). Favourite Worst Nightmare (2007) was well received but marked a shift toward heavier, more dizzying backdrops. Humbug (2009) found the group working with Queens of the Stone Age’s Josh Homme. It was the Monkeys’ take on
Which brings us to today, and an official announcement of the band’s fourth album, Suck It and See. Yes, that’s the album title, and yes, that alone has me worried. The tracklisting includes the zooted titles “The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala,” “Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair” and “Love is a Laserquest.” Sounds trippy, and based on the first single, “Brick by Brick,” the album could be headed down a strange rabbit hole.
This is mostly speculation, and it's important to remember all four members of Arctic Monkeys are scarily talented, especially head-songwriter Turner. Yet here I am, approaching a release from one of the most promising bands from last decade with skepticism and a hint of trepidation. What happened to the sniping faux authenticity of "Fake Tales of San Francisco"? The hot-breath horniness of "Dancing Shoes"? The no-chaser-needed smoothness of "Riot Van"? Bands are free to "grow" and expand their palettes, but that doesn't mean everyone will enjoy the finished product. We won't know the damage or the excellence until June 7, but I'd be lying if I didn't call my expectations measured.