Arctic Monkeys: Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino review – funny, fresh and a little smug | Alexis Petridis’ album of the week

Channelling Serge Gainsbourg and the Beach Boys, the Arctic Monkeys move on from stadium indie in a smart album that sees Alex Turner wearing a constant smirk

“I just wanted to be one of the Strokes,” sings Alex Turner at the outset of the Arctic Monkeys’ sixth album. “Now look at the mess you made me make.”

Certainly, he and his band seem to have traversed a far greater distance in the last 12 years than any of their peers, to the point where they seem almost unrecognisable. This is evident from the way they look – posing in snakeskin shoes and expensive overcoats they resemble characters from a film, something you could only have said of them in 2006 if it had been directed by Ken Loach – to the way they sound. There is almost nothing to connect the music on Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino with the muscled-up stadium indie rock of its 2013 predecessor AM, let alone the contents of their debut.

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