A Breakdown of the Arctic Monkeys' New Album

"Who the fuck are Arctic Monkeys?" the quartet asked the world, and themselves, some twelve years ago. It's hard to believe that there was a time before I knew and loved this band, or a time when I was afraid of the word "fuck."

I woke up on Thursday, April 5, two minutes before my alarm was set to go off. That feat in and of myself would've been enough to get my day going on a solid note, but I also knew that it was the day. And by the day, I didn't even quite know exactly what that entailed.

Thanks to the Arctic Monkeys subreddit, I knew something was going down on April 5. We knew it wasn't a single, so it made sense that it was the one thing that had been missing from the circus of anticipation for their sixth LP record: the formal album announcement. Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino hits phones, cars, and record players on Friday, May 11. Previously, all we knew was that it would be releasing in May, but we now have the title, the tracklist, and the charges on our credit cards for preordering the exclusive silver vinyl.

Image source: Arctic Monkeys

The Album Title

Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino. That's a mouthful, and the most syllables we've gotten in a title since their debut album, Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not. However, this title isn't so straightforward as WPSIATWIN. So what does it mean?

Tranquility Base is the Earth-given name of the spot on the moon where humans first set foot on extraterrestrial ground on July 20, 1969, via Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on Apollo 11. (Apollo 11; May 11 - connections!)

So I guess what this means, and what fans are already expectantly branding, is that AM6 is a space rock album. I don't know about you, but the combination of space and rock music is pretty much the combination of my two favorite things. And the album trailer seems to reaffirm this.

The Video

The video is all instrumental, but I don't have a problem with that. Had I heard Alex Turner's voice (or better yet, Matt's in homage to everyone's favorite, "Brick by Brick") I'd've gone into cardiac arrest.

So, instead of a hospital trip, I was delighted with 42 seconds of blissful drama, and I'd expect nothing less. The video starts off dark and fades into the imagery of a futuristic looking record player. We get beautiful bell sounds, a smooth casino-fantasy-type piano playing what almost sounds like slowed down hip hop beats (remnants of AM style), and finally, at the 31 second mark, a bass guitar giving eight seconds of both the familiar and the new all at once—think Humbug meets Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir."

To culminate all of this into one image, it feels like roaring twenties flapper Gatsby-esque in a casino with slots ringing and poker chips flying everywhere; it's wealth, it's luxury, it's sex. And it's in fucking space.

The Track Titles

1. Star Treatment

2. One Point Perspective

3. American Sports

4. Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino

5. Golden Trunks

6. Four Out of Five

7. The World’s First Ever Monster Truck Front Flip

8. Science Fiction

9. She Looks Like Fun

10. Batphone

11. The Ultracheese

These are the best titles since Suck It and See ("The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala", anyone?). Songs the fan base seems to be most looking forward to are, of course, "The World's First Ever Monster Truck Front Flip" and "The Ultracheese." 

Personally, I'm also very excited about "Batphone", "Science Fiction", "One Point Perspective", and of course the title track and—who am I kidding? I'm beyond pumped for the whole album!

The combined factors of these song titles, Alex Turner being listed as a producer alongside longtime producer James Ford, and Turner's most recent work—2016's release of Everything You've Come to Expect with The Last Shadow Puppets—setting a new standard in lyricism and solidifying that he is undeniably the best songwriter of our time (and perhaps ever?), the bar is set, appropriately, in space. So until May 11, we'll just have to sit tight and do what fetus Alex would want us to, and that's don't believe the hype.