Everyone has their favourite Arctic Monkeys era. Some might prefer the more mainstream hooks of AM, whilst others may prefer the more rebellious indie vibe of their debut. However, the album that is arguably most often overlooked is Humbug, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year.
This was the first Arctic Monkeys release following Alex Turner‘s debut with The Last Shadow Puppets, and this experimental nature is hugely prevalent on Humbug. For the first time they were using keyboards, new guitar effects, and even xylophones and glockenspiels to create a bolder sound which introduced a new direction to their music.
Several songs on this album still grace their setlist today, such as ‘Crying Lighting’, ‘Pretty Visitors’ and ‘Cornerstone’, which are celebrated as some of their greatest hits. However, others on the album now seem to have been forgotten amongst their now huge back catalogue, including ‘Secret Door’, which is undoubtedly a celebration of Turner’s talent as a lyricist, and ‘Dance Little Liar’, which starts off as a relatively slow groove and ends in a fiery crescendo of guitars.
This album, despite often being labelled as their weakest, is so creative in a very different way than their most recent album, Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino (which, although impressively experimental, seemed a much more abstract concept that was just outside of our reach in terms of really getting it). Humbug is a brilliant album that, 10 years on, we can see has been hugely influential not only in terms of future Arctic Monkeys music, but in the indie rock genre as a whole.
Click on the link below to listen to ‘Crying Lightning’, one of the most popular songs from the album: