For a group that have built an entire career on being a guitar band, Tranquillity Base Hotel & Casino is a bold statement – not that the Sheffield quartet have ever had any problem making bold statements.
If debut Whatever People Say I Am was a larrikin’s first tussle with success, Favourite Worst Nightmare was the drug-fuelled rise to superstardom, and AM was the dingy underside of afterparty culture, then Tranquillity Base feels like a cigarette smoke-filled cabaret club, where Alex Turner reflects on lost love and mistakes, and ponders the future. At the centre of the album is a classic piano – Turner has shied away from his guitar-driven monologues, for a newfound love of his Steinway Vertegrand.
Star Treatment seduces over a humming bassline, Four Out Of Five slinks through tales of gentrification, Golden Trunks disturbingly imagines Donald Trump as an ’80s wrestler, guitarist Jamie Cook shines on One Point Perspective, and closer The Ultracheese is a sober admission: “I’ve done some things that I shouldn’t have done, but I haven’t stopped loving you once,” Turner moans. Get comfortable being uncomfortable, and welcome to the Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino. Please enjoy your stay.
Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino is out May 11 via Domino.
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