- this album is bonkers! 10/10
- the lasting imprints of the album are of energy, invention, youth, wit, and attitude ... there are so many incredible songs and moments on this album but the standouts song has always been 'Fake Tales of San Francisco' and though it's a titanic ask, I think the standout moment is at 3:30 of 'Perhaps Vampires Is a Bit Strong But...'
- the album was a colossal hit in the UK and the hype engine could barely even contain itself ... just about every superlative was exhausted in describing the album and so I need not go into much depth; odds are if you are reading this blog then you know how amazing this album is
Album #2, "Favourite Worst Nightmare" (2007)
- no, this album is bonkers! 10/10
- where the debut was frenetic and filled with attitude, the follow-up was much more measured and polished ... it also feels slightly less punk-inspired and more of a solid and straight-ahead and undeniably British rock album ... 'Teddy Picker' will always be the standout song for me, and the moment where the guitars shoot straight to 11 in 'Do Me a Favour' (around 2:30) is pretty hard to top ... this album also stands out to me for the unbelievable drumming of Matt Helders (it starts with 'Brianstorm' and is just as present and powerful for the entire album)
- also a colossal hit, this album confirmed the band's place in the pantheon of great British rock bands but it also is here that, to me, frontman Alex Turner feel into the trap of fame and celebrity and all its narcissism
Album #3, "Humbug" (2009)
- this album is ... huh, not what I was expecting but still good. 8/10
- the band's transformation began here and this is not unnatural if you give it some thought - they were massively popular and successful and Alex (and maybe the rest of the band, though he is the most obviously pompous) had fallen into the fame pit ... the songs were longer and more varied, there were new effects used, the album felt darker somehow and more heavily produced, and above all, the songs seemed to revolve more around Alex's vocals than feeling balanced amongst all four elements of the band's sound ... the standout track is likely 'Cornerstone', though to me the album's quality lies in its sound as a whole as compared to individual songs ... the best song connected to this album is their oustanding cover of Nick Cave's 'Red Right Hand' ... that moment at about 3:00 in 'Dance Little Liar' and the following musical onslaught is pretty wicked too
- as I already stated, this is where I started to question where this band was heading, with my nervousness helped not at all by Alex's work as one half of 2008's debut album by The Last Shadow Puppets and their connection with Josh Homme (aka the kiss of death)
Album #4, "Suck It and See" (2011)
- this album is ... wait, what the hell is going on here? 6/10
- it is truly unfortunate that the best thing about this album was the single for 'Don't Sit Down 'Cause I've Moved Your Chair' in that it gave me such hope for the album before it was released in full - the single was full of attitude and rock-nous (though the lyrics were seriously questionable for the first time) and the two b-sides released along with it were both outstanding, particularly 'The Blond-o-Sonic Shimmer Trap' ... inevitably though, the album was released and it all just felt so tame and weak ... gone was the urgency and the invention and the snarling guitars and in its place were songs that wandered around in a general song-shape, but not in anyway that I recognized for this band ... I am never one to deny a band their right to evolve, but everything they were so good at was muted, or unrecognizable, or oddly structured, or missing altogether...
- NME loved this album of course, but I have no idea if anyone else did ... I was honestly worried at this point and even remember saying to my friend in England, "I saw this album, and I think it sucked" (as an attempted witty play on the album title)
Album #5, "AM" (2013)
- this album is ... is ... it's shit! 2/10
- again, the band tricked me, lulling me into a false sense of security with both 'R U Mine' (though the use of letters instead of words should have, in hindsight, rung all the alarm bells) and 'Do I Wanna Know', which were great rock songs that seemed very much in keeping with the band's incredible ability ... and then the rest of the album came out, and to this day, all I can think of in trying to review it is that it sounds less like a rock album, and more like the entirely forgettable backing tracks to a bad 1970s porn movie
- long the band's champion, NME gave this album a perfect score, which I have literally no ability to comprehend ... the moment where I knew it had all gone wrong was when I heard my 13-year old students talking about the band in the same breath as Ed Sheeran and Bruno Mars...
So where does that leave me? Unfortunately, I've lost interest in this band as a whole and in the megalomaniac-that-Alex-has-become specifically. I have no idea what they're working on now, and can only keep my fingers crossed upon mention of a new album that they will have moved on from their 'we wish we were American ... just look at my hair!' phase. Maybe their debut album title was more prophetic than we first realized...