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Alors que la presse internationale s’empressait de donner 4 étoiles sur 5 (NME) au nouvel opus des Arctic Monkeys, petit groupe de rock devenu grand, les critiques des fans ayant écouté une version leaké de l’album en étaient tout autre. C’est donc avec une certaine appréhension que je me suis lancée dans l’écoute de cet album. Que devions-nous attendre de ce nouveau projet, sorti près de 5 ans après son prédécesseur « AM » qui avait alors conquis la planète entière ? Et bien pour être honnête, je ne le sais toujours pas.

Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino” est un projet de 11 titres, écrits et composés par Alex Turner, chanteur, guitariste et leader du groupe. On est ici loin des premiers tubes du groupes, “Mardy Bum”, “I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor”, “R U Mine?” ou plus récemment“Do I Wanna Know” et “Why‘d You Only Call Me When You’re High” .

Il faut savoir que le succès des Arctic Monkeys réside en deux ingrédients irremplaçables : les lyrics travaillées à merveille par Turner et des mélodies qui rendraient les légendes du rock jalouses. Sur “Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino” la force des lyrics est bien là. Chaque titre est une histoire à part entière, contée à la façon d’un crooner anglais originaire de Sheffield, ville du nord de l’Angleterre, expatrié à Los Angeles, la cité des anges. « I just wanted to be one of The Strokes” ouvre le bal et nous rappelle directement la nostalgie dans laquelle le songwriter sait si bien nous plonger. Des textes difficilement identifiables aux premiers abords et qui nécessitent de se laisser aller dans son univers si mystique aux fausses allures populaires : “You push the button and we’ll do the rest” – The World’s First Ever Monster Truck Front Flip (“Tu appuie sur le bouton et nous ferons le reste” = slogan d’une publicité pour la marque Kodak des années 1988), ou encore “I’m so full of shite, I need to spend less time stood around in bars waffling on to strangers all about martial arts and how much I respect them” – She looks like fun (Je suis plein de connerie, j’ai besoin de passer moins de temps dans des bars baratinant des étrangers à propos des arts martiaux et à quel point je les respecte).

Le premier ingrédient est donc là, et se dévoile au fur et à mesures des 11 chansons. Il manque cependant le second point majeur, les mélodies dangereusement entêtantes qui caractérisent à merveille les plus gros titres des AM. Cela pourrait s’expliquer par l’abandon de la guitare lors de l’enregistrement de l’album, au profit du piano. Si le titre “Four Out Of Five” se rapproche de ce que les Arctic Monkeys ont pu produire précédemment, notamment sur « AM », on a pourtant du mal à s’imaginer qu’il s’agit du même groupe qui nous a présenté “Teddy Picker”, “Old Yellow Bricks” ou encore “When The Sun Goes Down”. Dans “Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino” vous ne trouverez pas de tube aux premiers abords mais plutôt des pistes qui ne demandent qu’à être comprises, sans pouvoir pour autant être domptées. C’est un album qui a pris du temps à être produit, et il nous faudra probablement plusieurs écoutes afin d’en retirer tout son potentiel, une sorte de défi que nous lance un Alex Turner prêt à reconquérir la scène Rock & Roll qui “ne mourra jamais” comme il a si bien pu le dire lors de son discours de remise du prix du “meilleur album de l’année” aux Brit Awards 2014.

En attendant de se faire une idée fixe de ce nouvel opus, le groupe sera de passage dans notre capitale pour deux shows – déjà sold out – au Zénith de Paris les 29 et 30 mai.

Ecouter l’album “Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino” des Arctic Monkeys:

A propos de l'auteur

Nina

Fan de l'accent british, en passant des Beatles aux Arctic Monkeys c’est sur Azikmut que j’aime partager mes coup de coeurs et expériences live. Si je ne suis pas à un concert vous pourrez très certainement me retrouver sur internet à la recherche de LA nouveauté du jour !

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