Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Album of the Week:
The Age of the Understatememt /
The Last Shadow Puppets

Sometimes, you know (or at least I do) that you will love a record before you've even heard it. Such was the case when I first read about the Last Shadow Puppets - a duo comprised of Alex Turner (Arctic Monkeys) and Miles Kane (The Rascals) - in Paper. Admittedly, I am a bit more familiar with Turner's work, following the Arctic Monkeys since 2006, with Favourite Worst Nightmare becoming one of my favorite records of last year. Both are skinny, devilishly young British boys with rock star haircuts and voices that have both a comforting softness and a punk edge. The two became pals when Kane's old band, The Little Flames, toured with Arctic Monkeys. They bonded over a mutual love for Scott Walker and David Bowie, and began writing material together. Meld those two influences alongside the bombast of Shirley Bassey Bond themes and the romance of Burt Bacharach strings and you've got The Age of the Understatement.

Turner's and Kane's voices are so similar that at times it is difficult to tell which is singing. Their voices blend spectacularly well, whether harmonizing (which they do quite often) or trade off (like on highlight "Separate and Ever Deadly").The arrangements reflect a time gone by, however The Age of the Understatement does not appear dated, and only a tad nostalgic. Their is a consistency to the the songs on the album, suggesting that the two artists take this far more seriously than just your typical side project. If there is any disappointment to this record, it's that it ends before you want it to - "The Time Has Come Again" proves to be an understated ending. Flawless in every other way, Kane and Turner simply keep you the listener wanting more - which, in this day and age, is not such a bad thing. (Note: The two are set to begin working on new material next year).

Video - "The Age of the Understatement"

Video - "Meeting Place" (live in-studio)

1 comment:

Allison said...

I've been meaning to get this album, good to know its worth picking up now.