When musings that The Last Shadow Puppets were in the midst of making a comeback, social media went going crazy last October and it didn’t help that Miles Kane and Alex Turner and their certain bromance were being photographed everywhere (although to be fair, they’re usually always together) in LA, NYC, and London which added fuel to the already growing fire of speculation.
Frontman Alex Turner’s Arctic Monkeys are on a much-needed hiatus from their arena-filled level in the U.S. and abroad which means it was the perfect moment for TLSP.
Then it happened. It finally happened.
TLSP released their teaser from their long-awaited follow-up to 2008’s The Age of Understatement and then came the official announcement of Everything You’ve Come to Expect.
The album doesn’t serve as a part two to The Age of Understatement but instead more of an evolving, almost experimental, album to show their growth over the eight years which is an almost soft focus on California (both Turner and Kane have recently moved to LA) with hazy tunes and gorgeous string arrangements.
There’s also an ease to the songwriting, an organic, and freeing vibe that pairs well with master producer/drummer James Ford (Ford has worked on every Arctic Monkeys albums as well as TLSP’s The Age of Understatement) and string arranger Owen Pallett.
Their first single, Bad Habits was the introduction to their new work. The track showcases Kane’s free rein, his vocals wailing and then paired with Turner’s at times over what would be the perfect string arrangement in a classic Kubrick film.
Everything You’ve Come to Expect is the title track and is a beautiful composition, when I first listened to it I wasn’t sure if it was fitting as a leading track but the more I listened to it, the more I heard the harmonies and the stunning string arrangements that get stuck in my head along with lyrics like “ghost riders and the rat and parrot, croc-skin collar on a diamond dog, dirtbag ballet by the bins down the alley as I walk through the chalet of the shadow of death.. Everything that you’ve come to expect, I guess the coastal air gets a girl to reflect, everything that you’ve come to expect, I just can’t get the thought of you and him out of my head…. Everything that you’ve come to expect.”
The Element of Surprise is a standout track that is close to Ford’s dance music origins, it’s spellbinding and misty with Turner and Kane’s voices which melt together in a lush, rich like buttery manner that makes you want to dance and leaves you craving more.
Pattern is a Miles Kane voice led track that is mystical, with yet another beautiful string arrangement that is so cinematic. It’s a song that most people can relate to, it’s about the pattern of being with a familiar lover that can’t seem to end.
The Dream Synopsis gives us a glimpse into Turner’s subconscious. It’s like a movie dream sequence or dreamscape directly over Sheffield where there’s questioning of self-realization, “visions of the past and possible future shoot through my mind and I can’t let go, inseparable opposing images.. When can you come back again?” It’s probably the most soul baring track we’ve heard from Alex Turner, who is usually hard to read. He invites listeners in but usually keeps us at arm’s length with previous work so it’s refreshing to see/hear such honest and openness from him, which makes it perfect as TLSP track as opposed to an Arctic Monkeys one.
Everything You’ve Come to Expect is reminiscent of Alex Turner’s lyrics on Arctic Monkey’s Humbug, its moodier and more intriguing. The album is drowsily gorgeous with plenty of stunning string arrangements paired over velvet voiced harmonies with a more lyrically openness from Alex Turner than we’ve come to expect.