The Last Shadow Puppets - The Age Of The Understatement

The Last Shadow Puppets is an alternative rock group from the UK. The band is the brainchild of Alex Turner, vocalist for The Arctic Monkeys, and Miles Kane, frontman for both The Rascals and The Little Flames. The duo met after Arctic Monkeys and The Little Flames went on tour together. The pair began talking and soon devised a plan to get together to create something that would prove to be truly remarkable. “The Age of the Understatement” is the debut album from this side-project. The album, which was released in 2008, consists of twelve songs which can all be traced in some way back to the struggles within relationships.

While both Alex Turner and Miles Kane were only 22 years old at the time of the album release, their youth does not stand in the way of their musical talents and capabilities. If anything, their age is the driving force for the youthful energy that can be found within all of their songs.

After Kane was asked to play guitar on some songs on “Favourite Worst Nightmare”, the second album from Arctic Monkeys, the two began to trade song ideas and lyrics, bouncing as many ideas off of one another as they could. Some of the songs they wrote and completed together, while others were begun by one or the other. No matter who had created the idea and beginning lyrics for a song, they finished it as a team.


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Once Turner and Kane had decided once and for all that they were going to put an album together, they knew that they would need to enlist the help of someone else. This is where James Ford came in. Ford had helped Turner with the creation of “Favourite Worst Nightmare” and could also play the drums. He was the perfect fit for the pair’s new musical creation.

The voices of both Turner and Kane can be heard on “The Age of the Understatement”. Sometimes both sing in unison, while other times they swap the task of singing as lead vocalist. With the new album, the two created a style that they had not been accustomed to with their old bands. The two decided to add stringed instruments to sections of their album as well. Although adding strings to any song is a risky move, the decision proved to be a good one, transferring the album to an even higher musical plane than was originally thought possible.

The album took a little over half a year to create and to record. “The Age of the Understatement” was released in April of 2008 and was an instant hit in both the UK and in other parts of the world. The album had three singles (“The Age of the Understatement,” “Standing Next To Me,” and “My Mistakes Were Made For You”), landed a number one position on the UK Albums Chart, and was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize in 2008. The cover of the album is a black and white photograph of a female model named Gill. The picture was taken in 1962 by a photographer named Sam Haskins.

Talk of a second album has been hinted at during several of The Last Shadow Puppets’ interviews, but nothing has been set in stone. Separate projects have kept them out of the recording studio thus far. The Last Shadow Puppets have played a handful of live shows during their stint as a band, but there has been no talk of anything in the foreseeable future.

 

Peter Marsden 2010 All Rights Reserved