Humbug (Bonus Track Version)

Humbug (Bonus Track Version)

For all the supposed Arctic Monkeys hallmarks absent on Humbug—buoyant, festival-ready choruses; Alex Turner’s socially acute punchlines—this bold, challenging third record still bears the Sheffield band’s unmistakable fingerprints. It’s just that, thanks to the presence of coproducer Joshua Homme (frontman for Queens of the Stone Age), they’re visible through a kind of enigmatic, desert twilight. “Crying Lightning” is all purring couplets with menacing guitar, “Pretty Visitors” adds ghostly organ and spoken word, and “Cornerstone” invokes Britpop grandeur with the added pull of Turner’s gimlet eye.

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