The Austin Chronicle

Phases & Stages

Reviewed by Austin Powell, June 20, 2008, Music

The Last Shadow Puppets

The Age of Understatement (Domino)

There's nothing understated about this debut collaboration between the Arctic Monkeys' Alex Turner and Miles Kane of UK's the Rascals. With a steady pulse provided by James Ford from Simian Mobile Disco and backed by the 22-piece London Metropolitan Orchestra – conducted by Final Fantasy's Owen Pallet – The Age of Understatement adapts Turner's tart tales of modern romance for the big screen. Picking up where the Monkeys' sophomore stunner, Favourite Worst Nightmare, left off last year, the exhilarating title track and "Only the Truth" venture further into Morricone's spaghetti soundtracking, while the risqué "In My Room" scraps the score from GoldenEye. Kane's role throughout is rather subdued, but his harmony in "Standing Next to Me" and counter-sneer in the thrilling "Separate and Ever Deadly" thicken the overall 1960s pop vibe. With the groovy "My Mistakes Were Made for You" especially, Pallet deserves equal billing for his album arrangements, which lend The Age of Understatement its epic splendor.


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