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Released on 24 August 2009

Artist: Arctic Monkeys

4.0 out of 5 (51 customer reviews) | Write a review

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  1. My Propeller
  2. Crying Lightning
  3. Dangerous Animals
  4. Secret Door
  5. Potion Approaching
  6. Fire & The Thud
  7. Cornerstone
  8. Dance Little Liar
  9. Pretty Visitors
  10. The Jeweller's Hands

Play.com Review

Back for a third outing, Arctic Monkeys return with a dark, intense record, Humbug. Having revolutionised the music industry with their online DIY self-promotion, the monumental chart success of debut Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I Am Not' and full frontal follow-up 'Favourite Worst Nightmare' confirmed the Sheffield four-piece as one of the most accessible and popular rock bands of recent times.

It takes literally seconds for the dirty twanging guitars and aggressive vocals of Alex Turner to kick the album off to a raucous start with the fiery opener, 'My Propeller.' However, it's not long before the release enters darker territory. Co-produced by Josh Homme of Queens Of The Stone Age, Humbug is not short of musical experimentation. The innovative, ghostly production on 'Secret Door' and beautiful dark blues of 'Fire And The Thud' (featuring guest vocals from Alison Mosshart of The Kills) are exquisitely textured, offering a more substantial layer to the band's cut-throat guitar snappiness. The dreamy, twistingly psychedelic 'Dance Little Liar' wouldn't have sounded out of place on Turner's acclaimed 2008 side-project, The Last Shadow Puppets. Lyrically, the band have edged away from the kitchen-sink storytelling of their earlier works, favouring more universal - and arguably - more mature themes. Slightly more familiar ground is revisited with the radio-friendly 'Cornerstone' and thumping single 'Crying Lightning', whilst the rapid tempo-changes of 'Pretty Visitors' are nothing short of exhilarating. 'The Jewellers Hands' concludes the album on an eerie, sinister note, worthy of this unpredictable but mesmerising album.

The 'difficult' third album tag has been the downfall of many a major act, but with Humbug, Arctic Monkeys have returned with their most thought-provoking, intelligent release to date. Having quickly established themselves as one of the most successful bands of their generation, album number three suggests that Arctic Monkeys are here for the long haul.

customer Reviews

 Average rating (51 reviews)

 Favourite Third Album

| | See all Irresolute's reviews (6)

Obviously this probably the biggest record of the year, and it deserves to be. I sat in on a playback. Well I eavesdropped a playback and .... this.....record...does not disappoint. The first thing to say is that the band are cooking, especiailly er, Cookie's guitar which is full of laid back but super heavy solos and a general feeling of menacing fun last heard when Johny Marr was breathing life into the last run of Smiths 7's.

The adolescent rush of 'Whatever....' has gone, that's what happens when you grow up, but so has the second half of 'Favourite Worst''s
more downbeat material. Instead there is more a group rocking together lost in their own world.

 arctic monkeys sucicide note

| | See all vbmonaghan's reviews (7)

i have been fan of arctic monkeys since there debut album which i thought along with white strips "elephant" and modest mouse's "we died before the ship sank" where the greatest albums of the 2000s but since then they have been going downhill some call it maturing
all the old songs about robbing cars and running away from the police have been switch with lyrics which make no sense and the worse is yet to come all there fast pace songs with 200 beats a minute have been replaced with you must call ballets this band is not arctic monkeys to be honest it is more like last shadow puppets with electric guitars and drums
the reason i gave it three stars is because by all means it is not a bad album just terrible for a band like arctic monkeys

 Atmospheric, Sinister, Grown Up, a perfect 3rd Album

| | See all Aylott89's reviews (1)

I don't know people are complaining that it doesn't sound like what they USED to sound like. The greatest bands and musicians constantly evolve their music e.g The Beatles, U2, Bowie. The not so great bands churn out the same sounding middle of the road radio happy music for their entire careers e.g Oasis, Coldplay.
Being in sweaty nightclubs and living in the "North" is not where the Arctic Monkeys are now, if they carried on writing stuff like that it wouldn't be real, spoiling their previous work. Humbug showcases a mature Arctic Monkeys, experimenting and displaying confidence and assurance in their artistic capabilities. I think people underestimate Alex Turner as songwriter and artist. Its hard to believe that at only 23 he has produced 4 distinctive, brilliant albums in 4 years. Very few artists of the last 10 years can claim to be this prolific.
Anyway back to Humbug. The moment the first few notes of My Propeller kick in you know this is going to be different., the album has certain atmosphere that is hard to describe. It sound kind of dirty and sinister. There isn't many radio friendly tracks here except maybe "Cornerstone" which is probably Alex Turner at his musical and lyrical best. Standout tracks for me are Cornerstone, My Propeller, Dangerous Animals, Crying Lightning and Dance Little Liar. These songs are easily some of the best songs musically. My one complaint for their first record was that musically it was a bit basic. In summary IS their best yet and I'm waiting to see in what direction they go next. Music is an Art and Alex Turner is an artist experimenting and evolving his way to being the greatest of this decade.

 Has any one els had this quirk

| | See all Techeneek's reviews (1)

Album not bad not as good as the first two but when I put the album into my comp to play it on windows media player all album text is in Japanese ? has anyone els had this happen to them although album plays ok & cover is in English so it makes not a lot of difference just strange

 Dull and dreary humbug. Not happy with this.

| | See all vincenoir99's reviews (7)

I am not happy about this album. Where have the young, lively UK rockers gone? Sat around indoors and got depressed by the credit crunch it seems. If I wanted to listen to a dreary, rambling and instantly forgettable album, I would of picked up Morrissy instead. Not one memorable tune on the whole dull affair. I bought this on download and feel cheated, as now I can't sell it on. If anyone wants my copy for free, they are welcome to it. Humbug? Indeed it is.

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