The Age Of The Understatement

The album opens with a song containing a fast-paced unison of strings, guitars, and drums reminiscent of a Midwestern scene or of a troop of trotting horses. The opening of the song has been said to sound similar to the song “Knights of Cydonia” by Muse. Both opening chord progressions are fairly common to up-beat, faster-tempo songs such as these.

“The Age of the Understatement” is about a man who is in a relationship. He is looking back on what he had together with his ex, seeing in hindsight that it didn’t work from the beginning. He knew that he should have known better, but he decided to do it anyway, knowing that things would eventually go wrong. There is a current trend in society of entering into relationships merely for the sex instead of for the emotion. This is what the couple in the song decided to do. Those that have those types of relationships do not want to experience any intense feelings or be attracted to the other. They simply try to get in and get out before any attraction they have solidifies and turns into something more. By writing this song they way that they did, Turner and Kane are attempting to convey to their listeners that everyone is, in essence, living in the age of the understatement. The chorus of voices that can be heard in the background illustrate the impending doom of the relationship. The voices center around the character of the woman, who can be thought of as the heartbreaker. She keeps her men at arm’s length, being just seductive and playful enough to keep them enthralled. The man in the story, though, is secretly torn apart every time that she does this to him. He knows that if he shows his true attraction to her she will get bored with him and simply move on to the next guy.

The music video for this song was shot by a French film director named Romain Gavras and includes both band members. The video opens showing a zamboni and a girl lacing up her ice skates; the scene then switches to show Turner and Miles standing in front of a large Russian military tank. Much of the video was shot at the Russian Capital in Moscow, Russia. The two are seen singing in multiple locations throughout the video including a car, a synagogue, and on a stage. Both Turner and Kane display an eerie similarity to the Beatles, which makes the video an even more interesting view for the audience.
 

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“The Age of the Understatement” was the first single from The Last Shadow Puppets. It gained popularity on the UK Singles Chart in 2008 where it peaked at number 9. As for chart popularity, this was the song by The Last Shadow Puppets to gain the most recognition.
 

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