Album Review – ‘Everything You’ve Come To Expect, The Last Shadow Puppets

It’s your decision honey, my planet or yours?

“Everything You’ve Come To Expect” is an album that luxuriates in 60s and 70s nostalgia. The Last Shadow Puppets are truly the stuff that dreams are made of, and their second LP doesn’t disappoint, even after its eager anticipation since their heavenly debut in 2008. Released today, EYCTE has the sanguine, sensual swagger that only indie’s best bromance could pull off; they swoon and croon their way through each song, where the lyricism is arguably at Alex’s sweetest and most endearing.

“Sweet Dreams, TN” may be one of the best love songs ever written. If for some reason you weren’t in love with Alex Turner before, you will be now. “I just sort of always feel sick without you, baby,” he warbles with a serenading, lounge singer-esque flair. “Your shrinking figure blows a kiss / I catch and smash it on my lips.” It’s a gorgeous, full song with Alex at his most tender, his voice eventually becoming stretched to its limit as opposed to maintaining a low, lazy warble that we’re so used to with him. Owen Pallett, who was also used on TLSP’s debut The Age of The Understatement (2008), helps the song build and reach its epically cinematic potential with his string arrangements, giving it what Turner called a “widescreen feel.” The use of strings on the album’s titular track is sumptuous also, conglomerating with Alex and Miles’ smooth vocals to romance the ears over the song’s cynical euphony and internal rhymes: “Dirtbag Ballet by the bins down the alley / As I walk through the Chalet of the shadow of Death.” “The Dream Synopsis” is a dreamy (literally) ballad that makes me want to slowdance in a darkened room; intimately real, it delves into Turner’s glittered and dusty subconscious, dropping references to his hometown Sheffield and Kane himself.

In “Bad Habits,” Alex relinquishes his Elvis crooning duties and Miles is most strongly felt and as northern as ever – (the accent strength in the line SICK PUPPEH was so jarring I almost jumped) – but, truly, it’s an absolute banger, a floor filler, set to change the indie club scene irrevocably and get festival floors a-shaking – “There’s a black infinity parked outside blocking somebody in” Alex croons sardonically over all the sweeping drama of a romantic orchestra and awkward, wrong melodies. It’s genius. The whole album feels like it’s been wrapped in musty glamour and velvet, quite significantly more mature sounding than the boyish charm of The Age of The Understatement that Turner and Kane composed as 21 / 22 year olds. Yet it’s inflected with some of the cheeky Northern charm that the two men still possess; the faintly ludicrous faux-horror of “Dracula Teeth” and its lyricism – “The full moon’s glowing yellow and the floorboards creek / C’est horrifique!” and the guileless assertion of “Baby we ought to fuck” in “Sweet Dreams, TN.” It’s an album of progression yet retention and authenticity of the two men who penned it.

“Everything You’ve Come To Expect” is an album you view through sepia tinted sunglasses. Glamorous, seductive and smart, Milex have shown that good things come to those who wait.

Best tracks: Bad Habits, Miracle Aligner, The Dream Synopsis and Sweet Dreams, TN


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