Put two music maestros in a studio and the result is Everything You’ve Come To Expect. After an 8-year hiatus, playmates Alex Turner and Miles Kane have renewed their harmonious courtship to grace the world with the much-anticipated sequel to The Age Of The Understatement. Despite these promising ingredients, the album isn’t pretty upon first listening. But something calls you back. Something in the album’s twisted nature leaves you restless for more.
It is a complex, dark and brooding concoction. Whilst Turner and Kane’s exquisite ear for song-writing envelop the album in a nostalgic bubble of glamorous, aggressive rock, its sleazy lyrics and carnival like tones are reminiscent of Humbug‘s bleak majesty. The range of effects is dizzying, with new dimensions of the pair’s creativity taking you by surprise at every turn.
What corrupts the album’s harrowing consistency is its opening. The punchy riff of ‘Aviation’ is offset by its lazy meandering vocals. Initially, there is a painful discrepancy between the fiery highlights of the instrumentation and the subdued vocal presence of the ego-driven twosome. It’s not quite boring, just bored. But once you push past the stilted introduction, you enter a shady world of piercing motifs and hard edges polished smooth by the album’s amazing production.
The addition of Owen Pallett’s strings makes Everything You’ve Come To Expect the tour de force that it is. Each song is accompanied by an armada of orchestral perfection that gives the album its definitively climactic seal. It is the texture, at times pleasantly uncomfortable and at others arrogantly silky, that provides the album with its enchanting ability.
Underwhelming at first, Everything You’ve Come To Expect is a sinister outlook on life amongst the spiralling hills of LA, that takes you deeper into the rabbit hole that is Turner and Kane’s collective minds.