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Boomkat Product Review:
This debut LP by all-star side-project The Last Shadow Puppets finds Arctic Monkey Alex Turner encroaching on old mate Richard Hawley's turf, fashioning big band '60s-style pop music that's got more in common with the pomp and excess of Scott Walker than modern indie rock fare. Turner is joined by his pal Miles Kane of The Rascals, who if at all possible, looks even more like a small child than the chief Monkey himself, all of which conspires to make the incongruity between the band's tender age and its grandiose, old-fashioned sound the more apparent. There's an impressive authenticity to how vintage all this sounds, which is fairly surprising given that James Ford' manning the desk. Yes, the Simian Mobile Disco man (and knob twiddler for Klaxons and Arctic Monkeys themselves) pulls a bit of a Phil Spector on The Age Of The Understatement, shaping the London Metropoliatn Orchestra into a wall-of-sound to be envious of, and he's ably assisted by string arranger Owen Pallett (of Final Fantasy and Arcade Fire) who comes up with plenty of sophisticated, memorable orchestrations for the album. Despite taking some getting used to (hearing Alex Turner singing on the Shirley Bassey-esque 'In My Room' is quite some experience) there's a great deal to recommend The Age Of Understatement: 'My Mistakes Were Made For You' exhibits the lavish orchestral funk of David Axelrod with a slippery, shuffling beat and a Pallett string part to die for, while 'Separate And Ever Deadly' is spat out with a venomous, punky zeal that shouldn't really fit with such classy, upwardly mobile surrounds - it's a bit like The Libertines backed by James Last. Marvellous!