Mere hours before British radio was supposed to premiere the Arctic Monkeys' new first single for their forthcoming Humbug, "Crying Lightning" hit the internet. I love when that happens.
The Arctic Monkeys opted to stray from their traditional, straightforward approach and have crafted a song far more complex than say, "I Bet You Look Good On The Dance Floor."
The hook isn't as hook-y as the aforementioned song, but signature Alex Turner melody and lyric is spot on. The guitar work on "Crying Lightning" is especially great. Guitarists Turner, Cook, and Bass Guitarist Nick O'Malley are spinning a web rather than rushing into a raw explosion of sound that has become common in Arctic Monkey records. Listen to "Crying Lightning" here
As a first single, "Crying Lightning" should be used as the looking-glass in through which we'll see Humbug before we actually get to listen to it. What I see now is a more controlled, matured, hardened band. I have to wonder if that edge, thrill and boldness so proudly displayed on Whatever People Say I Am... is still there.
The Arctics were two for two with Favourite Worst Nightmare. Their sophomore album only proved that there was more to the hype — the songs were better, sharper, but most importantly, their delivery had been mastered, and startlingly enough, Turner's songwriting had reach the emotional depth beyond his young years.
Truth be told, I really like "Crying Lightning," but the first listen was disappointing, the attraction wasn't fatal at all, and I don't see it holding up against some of the other music released this year. I am not too worried though — I wasn't blown away by "Brianstorm" either.
Humbug is out August 25th via Domino. According to Prefix Magazine: "The Arctic Monkeys' much-anticipated third effort was co-produced by Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme and James Ford, who apart from his work in Simian Mobile Disco plays drums in Alex Turner's other project, The Last Shadow Puppets."