This might be news to the Arctic Monkeys’ Alex Turner, but for every artist there’s a point where aspiration exceeds ability. The Last Shadow Puppets, his new studio dalliance with pal Miles Kane, have way overshot it on The Age Of The Understatement.
While it’s enjoyable to listen to grandly orchestrated Scott Walker, Lalo Schifrin and John Barry recordings, not everyone can make them. Bringing in string arranger-to-the-indie-rock-stars Owen Pallett to whip up some dramatically swirly bits played by the 22-piece London Metropolitan Orchestra can’t hide the fact that these are poorly written songs snarled by spindly sad sacks from Sheffield. It’s no big deal for MySpace-famous Turner, whose cut of the Monkeys’ money could fund similar vanity projects for years to come. When mediocre talents become mega-wealthy, we all suffer.