Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Last Shadow Puppets - The Age Of The Understatement

Side-projects are a curious concept. Vanity acts by spoiled stars, or a place where musicians let loose and finally start doing what they really like and want? Whatever the main motivations behind, one cannot complain over the innumerous great releases by these so-called side projects, from this year's Neon Neon ("Stainless Style") to the great late Gorillaz, whose artistic and commercial attributes largely surpassed those of Damon Albarn's main project, Blur. The latest ones on this list are The Last Shadow Puppets, which sees Alex Turner from Arctic Monkeys team up with Miles Kane from The Rascals, counting with the precious contributions of Owen Palett (Final Fantasy) on the string arrangements created with the London Metropolitan Orchestra, and also producer James Ford (Simian Mobile Disco). The goal? Apparently what was supposed to be an homage to Scott Walker has become an excuse to (re)create 1960's-influenced anthemic songs and old movie soundtracks. With sumptuous and luxurious orchestrations, baroque pop compositions, dramatic crescendos and catchy innocent melodies, "The Age Of The Understatement" surpasses the mere symphonic-pop pastiche condition, managing to hit all the right pleasure centers and becoming a collection of goosebump-inducing epic songs. (8/10)

The Last Shadow Puppets - The Age Of The Understatement (video)

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