Everything You’ve Come To Expect – The Last Shadow Puppets
I find myself listening to Everything You’ve Come To Expect with some reservations. I’ve always met the music of The Last Shadow Puppets with some scepticism – sometimes it feels a little too theatrical for my liking, and sometimes repetitive. For me, the question of whether they would be so popular if they weren’t the brainchild of Alex Turner and Miles Kane always comes to mind whenever I hear them. That’s not to say I dislike them – I enjoyed some of their first album, but their music is something I don’t find myself listening to too regularly. However, I liked ‘Bad Habits’ when it was released a few months ago, and I’ve heard glowing reviews of the album as a whole, so it only seemed fair to give Everything You’ve Come To Expect a chance.
The opening track ‘Aviation’ did little to overly impress me, and neither did ‘Miracle Aligner’, the second offering of the album. ‘Dracula Teeth’, however, I love. There’s something about the way it flows and builds that’s beautiful. Whilst I normally find the histrionics that are so characteristic of The Last Shadow Puppets a point of grievance, it works wonderfully in this track.
Everything You’ve Come To Expect seems to feature Alex Turner’s vocals much more heavily than those of Miles Kane, especially when compared to their debut The Age of the Understatement. I can’t say I’m disappointed by this – whilst I’m a fan of both artists individually, Alex Turner undoubtedly has my heart. As a whole, the album feels much more strongly influenced by Alex Turner – lyrics such as ‘just let me know when you want your socks knocking off’ from ‘The Element of Surprise’ seem so incredibly him, along with the mention of Sheffield city centre – his hometown – in ‘The Dream Synopsis’.
‘The Dream Synopsis’ feels reminiscent of the soundtrack for the film Submarine, a solo venture by Turner, combined with ‘No. 1 Party Anthem’ from Arctic Monkeys’ AM. Again, the greater influence of Turner over Kane is evident here. That’s not to say that the whole album lacks Kane’s influence – tracks such as ‘Bad Habits’ are clearly evocative of his solo music. ‘The Dream Synopsis’ stands out from the rest of the album. It’s essentially the token acoustic track that features towards the end on many albums, but it’s a little more interesting than most of these songs. It still retains the unmistakable sound of The Last Shadow Puppets, but dilutes it a little to create a more relaxed, chilled track that’s arguably one of the best on the album.
Eschewing my criticisms of and reservations about The Last Shadow Puppets, the one thing I do particularly enjoy about them is their use of words. Their lyrics are often unashamedly verbose, and it provides a dimension to their music that I’ve rarely come across elsewhere.
The resounding thought in my mind as I listened to this album for the first time was how aptly named it was. It sounded how I thought it would and it displayed the exact level of theatrics I had anticipated. I predicted that I’d like it but not be blown away by it, and this was the case. Everything You’ve Come To Expect was truly everything I had come to expect from The Last Shadow Puppets.