Moving away from the heavier doom of Humbug, 2011 finds the Arctic Monkeys embracing the lessons of simpler arrangements and more straightforward songwriting. Pop-infused like opener “She’s Thunderstorms” and “Black Treacle” chart the course for the tongue-in-cheek Suck It And See. It’s the first time the band sounds like something other than completely themselves, and despite the strong collection of songs here it’s this album where I start to fins myself wandering a bit in attention.
There’s a vintage feel to the tracks, partially owing to Alex Turner doing the majority of the writing around the same time he was assembling the soundtrack to Richard Ayoade’s film Submarine. One track, “Piledriver Waltz” was re-recorded by the full band for Suck It And See. Overall when the band is sticking to the theme of old-time, feel-good pop the album succeeds; it’s the heavier tracks like “Brick By Brick” with it’s weird Iggy Pop influence and the poorly titled “Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair” that things don’t seem on track. Which is a weird thing to say considering on the previous albums it’s always been the heard charging numbers I’d grown to love. But maybe it’s that I love whatever Arctic Monkeys put their drive into, and for Suck It And See it’s this softer, more jukebox indie pop that clicks.
“Library Pictures” though…now THAT song gets going in spots.