When Arctic Monkeys released “Brick by Brick,” a song from their 2011 album Suck It and See, I was initially confused. It was not what I expected from the band sonically. After the melodic and moody Humbug, I wasn’t prepared for the rock ‘n roll boom of the new song. Admittedly, it made me worried for the full album.
But that worry was all for naught, as Suck It and See proved once again the genius of Alex Turner and crew. The album provides a return to more pop-driven songs than Humbug, and is their most refined by far. This is first noted in the album’s first track, “She’s Thunderstorms,” a beautiful and elegant opener. This leads into “Black Treacle,” an understated yet brilliantly composed song. Suck It and See has Turner playing his cards closer to the chest, lyrically, and really singing rather than shout-singing, as he was wont to do on early albums.
Next, “Brick by Brick,” which sounds better in context of the album, especially with the gutsy single “Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair” coming close behind. These two songs offer a bit of rock ‘n roll amid some very polished songs.
The album closes off with a quadrilogy (hey, it’s a word — I’ve seen it on iTunes!) of exceptionally sophisticated songs, including “Piledriver Waltz,” a track that also appears on the Submarine soundtrack. That, followed by “Love is a Laserquest,” bring in the charm and set us up for the catchy title track. The album closes with a very New Order-esque “That’s Where You’re Wrong,” sure to be a favorite.
You can buy the album Suck It and See here.