It’s been a solid nine years since the thundering arrival of the TLSP’s first offering: “The Age of The Understatement”, and in that time, the record has become iconic, and flawless to many of its adoring fans. Now, they have a new album.
The excitement instilled in myself, amongst the other devotees upon the news that we would be treated to yet another glimpse into the murky magic of Turner, Kane and Ford’s side project was indescribable.
Part of the beauty of 'The Age of The Understatement' as a whole, was that it was unexpected, fresh, and conjured up a lovely nostalgia of sixties’ heartbreak, nuanced with soaring string accompaniments that left listeners yearning for a lost love of past life. The lyrics which were intricately woven and sophisticated, and were a key characteristic of the band. Its title suggested that the music may be lower than set expectations, however it was received rapturously.
'Everything You’ve Come To Expect' in contrast, as a title seems lacklustre, and almost obnoxious in it’s delivery. It is as though one record in, they have lost the original excitement and inspiration that saturated their previous work. The title track itself is 3:53 in duration, but it lags too often and the chorus somehow manages to drop the tempo of the song, leaving the track muddled and frankly uninspiring. Lyrics such as “Goose bump soup and Honey Pie / Piggy in the middle, I’m the baddy’s daddy” aren’t quite reminiscent of the imagery and evocation paramount to the first record. This change in style seems ill-fitting to what was such a key component in their success. This more light-hearted take on their style may work, however the melodies and chorus need to be punchy and strong in delivery, which doesn’t feature here unfortunately. Their characteristic harmonies still feature although for the majority of the track both Turner and Kane sing in falsetto, rendering a lack of depth which would enrich the song.
There are definite Magical Mystery Tour vibes throughout the track, which is an interesting development into the aspect of psychedelia that will be the undercurrent of their album, in comparison to the earlier almost Vanilla-Fudge sounds apparent on 'The Age of The Understatement'. It’s good to see their influences subtly changing and adapting with their sound.
I think this track will work a lot better live than on record, as the production is sometimes a bit too murky and psychedelic that it almost sounds saccharine and lifeless, whereas the clarity and depth that a live performance would offer would bring the track to life, and display the immense talent of Alex Turner and Miles Kane as a collaborative pair. I am intrigued to hear what the rest of the album will bring, and hopefully it won’t disappoint.
'Everything You’ve Come To Expect' is released April 1st courtesy of Domino Records.