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Humbug

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Facing the third album blues, the Arctic Monkeys turned to Josh Homme, the Queens of the Stone Age mastermind renowned for his collaborations but heretofore untested as a producer. On first glance, it's a peculiar pair -- the heirs of Paul Weller meet the heavy desert mystic -- but this isn't a team of equals, it's a big brother helping his little siblings go wayward and get weird. Homme doesn't imprint his own views on the Monkeys but encourages them to follow their strange instincts, whether it's a Nick Cave obsession or the inclination to emphasize atmosphere over energy. Wading into the murk of Humbug it becomes clear that the common ground between the ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Facing the third album blues, the Arctic Monkeys turned to Josh Homme, the Queens of the Stone Age mastermind renowned for his collaborations but heretofore untested as a producer. On first glance, it's a peculiar pair -- the heirs of Paul Weller meet the heavy desert mystic -- but this isn't a team of equals, it's a big brother helping his little siblings go wayward and get weird. Homme doesn't imprint his own views on the Monkeys but encourages them to follow their strange instincts, whether it's a Nick Cave obsession or the inclination to emphasize atmosphere over energy. Wading into the murk of Humbug it becomes clear that the common ground between the Monkeys and Homme is the actual act of making music, the pleasure of not knowing what comes next when an entire band is drifting inside a zone. Since so much of Humbug is about its process, it's not always immediately accessible or pleasurable to an outside listener, nor is it quite the thickly colored freakout Homme's presence suggests. The Monkeys still favor angular riffs and clenched rhythms, constructing tightly framed vignettes not widescreen epics, but they're working with a darker palette and creating vaguely abstract compositions, sensibilities that extend to Alex Turner's words too, as he trades keen detail for vivid scrawled impressions. Every element of the album reflects a band testing its limits, seeing where they could -- not necessarily will -- go next; it's a voyage through territory that's new to them as musicians (which doesn't necessarily mean that it's also new to their audience), offering at a peek at what lies beyond via three songs cut after the desert sessions, songs informed by what they learned during their sojourn with Homme. This trio of tunes, highlighted by "Cornerstone," aren't as darkly as evocative as the rest of the dense, gnarled Humbug but they're among the best songs the album has to offer suggesting that the record may mean more in the long-term that it does on its own. Nevertheless, Humbug makes two things clear: Arctic Monkeys are serious about being in a band, about making music, and they are the first major British band in generations unencumbered by fear or spite for America. Humbug was not done with hopes of breaking the American market or reacting spitefully against it, it is solely about big, loud, dark noise. No wonder Josh Homme sensed he had a band of little brothers in Arctic Monkeys.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/25/2009
  • Label: Domino
  • UPC: 801390023729
  • Catalog Number: 237
  • Sales rank: 5,479

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Arctic Monkeys Primary Artist
John Ashton Keyboards, Background Vocals
Alison Mosshart Vocals
Technical Credits
Geoff Barradale Management
Josh Homme Producer
Alain Johannes Engineer
Howie Weinberg Mastering
Guy Aroch Cover Photo
Claudius Mittendorfer Engineer
Arctic Monkeys Composer
Alex Turner Composer
James Ford Producer
Ian McAndrew Management
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 10 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(4)

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(5)

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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Great Album - New Direction

    I purchased this album a few months ago and highly recommend it. There are only ten tracks but all are gems. Throughout Humbug, Alex Turner shows his genius as a lyricist, and the Monkeys are really coming through with a darker and slower, albeit still captivating sound. It may take a few listens to get used to but this album is really something different, and something to ponder. Favorite tracks are Cornerstone, Pretty Visitors and Crying Lightning.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Makes My Head Pirouette More Than I'd Be Willing to Confess!

    The absolute BEST! This is by far one of my top albums. Arctic Monkeys prove their brilliance again with this latest work. I just love the mood of this CD. Not only have they become harder, but they have also created some lovely serene tunes. Every album this band makes is even better than the last (which believe me is rare!). I just can't get enough of this act. I listened to this album (and nothing else) for two weeks straight. It's been well over a month now and I guarantee that I still listen to some of this masterpiece on a daily basis. Arctic Monkeys are a band that defines British Indie.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Arctic Monkeys + Josh Homme = Love

    People always talk about the sophomore slump and if an artist doesn't have it, they predict that their third album will sound like their others. Arctic Monkeys would be the valedictorian of their class as their third album continues to impress. Like their previous efforts, Humbug has their distinct sound and vocals, but with Josh Homme producing you can hear something new, too. If you're a fan of Queens of the Stone age, then you will definitely hear his influence especially on the bass lines and guitar solos. Try it out, it's awesome!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2009

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    Posted November 5, 2011

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    Posted September 12, 2009

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    Posted September 25, 2009

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    Posted January 17, 2010

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    Posted November 26, 2009

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    Posted May 13, 2012

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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews