Humbug - Arctic Monkeys
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Generally favorable reviews - based on 26 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 217 Ratings

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  • Summary: The third album for the British band was co-produced by Josh Homme and James Ford.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. Arctic Monkeys collect their darkest impulses and put them on stark display; it’s another massive step forward in a career that seems marked for greatness.
  2. You can either keep chasing an elusive past, relying on your fans' nostalgia, or you can press on, keeping your gaze fixed forward. The first option is easier, but Humbug admirably takes the second, with a confidence that suggests that if their days at the eye of the storm are behind them, Arctic Monkeys' best might be yet to come.
  3. 80
    Beyond the dirty talk, this is a beautifully balanced record. [Sep 2009, p.94]
  4. Whether you call the Arctic Monkeys' evolving sound Britpop or Britprog, it's clear the album shows remarkable progress for the band.
  5. Humbug is a pretty good album that’s pleasingly incongruous amongst the pre-fab boredom of much modern Brit indie. It’s eminently not astounding but it is inventive, and likeably so.
  6. These are small quibbles with an almost uniformly excellent album. But at heart, Humbug fails to make that same connection the band once did, where musician and fan were one and the same. It just sounds too polished, too mature--too good.
  7. More often than not on Humbug, they sound like a less inspired version of themselves.

See all 26 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 61 out of 67
  2. Negative: 2 out of 67
  1. Nov 30, 2010
    This is just a solid album throughout. I hadn't payed much attention to this band due to my fear (heh) that they'd sound like every other band out there, minus the semi-regular few that put out original and interesting music. Well I gave Humbug a shot, and after the first play through I found a couple tracks that immediately stuck, but it didn't quite stick with me, alot of the tracks sounded the same and I didn't quite like the song structure. Well it took a couple more plays through, but it's finally gotten a hold of me and it is fair to say this is one of my favourite albums in rotation curently. Expand
  2. Nov 6, 2010
    For all of those people who claim that the Monkeys have lost their luster have a very low appreciation for music. The Arctic Monkeys are showing a mature, artsy, pure Rock side of them that I can safely say is genius. I hope they stay on this course, but being the Monkeys fan that I am, I'm sure they can't disappoint.
    Humbug is a beautiful album, enveloped with soul and energy. I recommend it to the open minded.
  3. j30
    Aug 15, 2011
    They haven't reached these dark territories up to this point. This was my favorite album from 2009. You can hear Josh Homme's production all over this record (which isn't a bad thing). Alex Turner's lyrics/social commentary is a revolution (he progresses every album). Can't wait to see where they go from here. Expand
  4. Nov 26, 2010
    Humbug is a very strange album opposed to the Arctic Monkeys predecessors. Instead of the hooky guitar riffs and Alex Turner's witty lyrics, we get a more dark, psychedelic album that you either love or you hate. As for me, I loved it. These songs are dark and have a great tune to them. The opening track "My Propeller" is a great way to start the album off with. And the second track "Crying Lightning" is easily the best song on the album. You can tell throughout the album that Alex Turner's voice has matured. All In All, Humbug is a very different kind of sound from Favourite Worst Nightmare and Whatever People Say, but it's a turn for the best. B+ Expand
  5. May 28, 2011
    Never has an album grown on me so much. On the first listen I was extremely disappointed, thought it seemed restrained and lacking ideas and the energy which made them such an exciting band to love. After repeat listens you realise the hidden depths that the CD has, the time signatures, the lyrical crypticness which can tug at your heart and the mature influence from Josh Homme is at times clear. What initially seemed like restraint, is actually refinement and progression. STILL, possibly their worst album. (Says it all) Expand
  6. Jan 20, 2012
    'Humbug' has many strong moments ('Crying Lighning' and 'Secret Door' are some of their best) but is a much more confusing and difficult album than Arctic Monkeys are able to pull off. A very daring and dangerous move than doesn't exactly crash and burn but probably wasn't worth all the experimentation. Not dreadful but a bit on the boring side from a band who are at their best with energetic riffs and exciting beats that 'Humbug' doesn't really present. Expand
  7. Sep 1, 2013
    This album feels an sounds like a quarter life crisis. Are the tunes, riffs and songwriting strong? Yes. But at the end of it all they fail to make me care or connect as a listener. A few strong tracks would have made a memorable EP, but they really couldn't afford to make yet another one of those. Yawn. Next please Monkeys. Expand

See all 67 User Reviews