REVIEW: Arctic Monkey’s new album “Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino” tells the truth in a variety of styles

After five years, English rock band Arctic Monkeys finally released their sixth album, “Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino,” last Friday, thus continuing their claim that rock-n-roll never dies.

Unlike most artists in the music industry, Arctic Monkeys did not release any singles previewing the album, letting fans experience it as a collective piece of art. Usually, to tease the fans and give a sneak peak of the music, singers release a few of their best tracks from the album beforehand, but the indie rock band took a bold approach.

Similar to previous albums, Arctic Monkeys continued to prove that they cannot be labeled by one genre. For example, the opener of the album, “Star Treatment,” exudes a vibe of a tranquil indie song while “The World’s First Ever Monster Truck Front Flip” has more of a garage rock feel.

Since the group refuses to write in one style, the direction of the album is also indistinguishable by looking at the title list. All songs in the album examine space, post-apocalypse universes and technology, but song titles like “The Ultracheese” do not reveal the content. “Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino” covers everything from sci-fi adventures to the not-so-distant future, where everything is media-based and technology takes over the world.

For example, in “She Looks Like Fun,” frontman Alex Turner sings “No one on the streets / We moved it all online as of March.” The song focuses on how in the modern age of technology everyone can say whatever they want anonymously on media.

In “The Ultracheese,” Turner sings, “Still got pictures of friends on the wall / I suppose we aren’t really friends anymore.” By “the wall” he means the old Facebook timeline, and he doubts that having pictures of them on social media makes them real friends.

Turner further explores a technological future with references to George Orwell’s dystopian novel “1984” in which humans are oppressed by the government and all technologies. “Everybody’s on a barge / Floating down the endless stream of great TV / 1984, 2019,” Turner sings.

The fact that Turner is concerned with current issues regarding technology and media shows bands like Arctic Monkeys, who have been around for a while, can still make content relevant to modern-day listeners. Since rock-n-roll is not currently that popular, it is important for Turner to explore topics people should be discussing.

While “Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino” seems like a simple indie rock album with chill tunes and fall vibes, it really gets under listeners’ skin when the lyrics are broken down as most of what Arctic Monkeys sing about is sadly true.


Edited 5/14: 4th paragraph. “Ultracheese” to “The Ultracheese”