“Everything You’ve Come To Expect” is the second album from the Alex Turner (of Arctic Monkeys fame, obviously) and Miles Kane (The Rascals and solo artist) supergroup, The Last Shadow Puppets. It was released on the 1st April 2016 on Domino Records and was recorded at the world renowned Shangri-La Studios in Malibu (the very same studio which has been used to record in by artists like Bob Dylan, Metallica and Adele, and it was even the inspiration behind the name of Jake Bugg’s second album- titled “Shangri-La”- where he recorded in 2013). The album artwork is a photograph of Tina Turner dancing, however she’s “of no relation” to Alex Turner himself! It’s been 8 years since the release of their 2008 debut album- “The Age Of Understatement”- and their return has been rumoured for months. Following their return and the release of the single “Bad Habits” (along with a few other promotional releases from the album) the band have played a short UK tour touching down around the country, in places like London and Brighton, and are set to play various festivals over the summer, including Glastonbury.
From the first track, “Aviation”, we’re reminded of just how well Turner and Kane’s voices work together. Their voices seamlessly and pleasantly intertwine to create interesting, well crafted songs. “Aviation” is frantically mysterious in both lyric and instrument. Both “Aviation” and “Bad Habits” have quite fractured lyrics which create this fragmented feel, which seems effortlessly effective- especially in “Bad Habits”. It would be silly not to mention the incredible use of strings on the tracks which help create almost a tension/suspense build up and add overall character and story to the songs. There’s also “Miracle Aligner” which stands out to me. It’s lyrics have soundtrack elements which aren’t too dissimilar to the songs which Alex Turner wrote and sung for the Submarine soundtrack and has echoes of these songs in there and this is continued throughout the album, by overspilling into songs like “The Dream Synopsis” and “The Bourne Identity” . There’s a theme of witty and colloquial love songs which runs throughout. The song “Sweet Dreams, TN” exemplifies this classically contemporary way of writing love songs from perhaps not the most frilly or glamorous perspective- the lyrics are almost poetic, like in “She Does the Woods” too. The album has its fair share of mysterious, easy to listen to tracks, such as “The Element of Surprise”- which I particularly like- and “Patterns”.
Overall, the album is extremely experimental (like in the title track, “Everything You’ve Come To Expect”), yet perfectly polished. It manages to retain the mystery , charm and spark of their first album, “The Age of Understatement”, and is very easy to listen to. The tracks are well thought out, with the added addition of the strings, and effortlessly interesting, with echoes of past work (both together and separately). However, some of the songs do seem to begin sounding quite similar as you work your way through the album. But, overall it’s a brilliantly charming album with plenty of positive quirks which makes it unique and engaging.