Humbug

  • Record Label: Domino
  • Release Date: Aug 25, 2009
User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 277 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 6 out of 277

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  1. Sep 1, 2013
    4
    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.
  2. Jan 20, 2012
    6
    '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'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
  3. danted
    Aug 27, 2009
    4
    Nothing new, nothing original, in some songs sound like nirvana, in other like prodigy, and other bands, very disappointing.
  4. drunkestepdaddad
    Aug 29, 2009
    5
    Lucky 'nuf to have caught the sonar & starland ballroom shows 1st us tour. Band sorta went south after jettisoning original bass player. Fav wurst nightmare tour at electric factory a bit of (to say the least) a letdown. here's hoping new record will grow on me, but really waiting on return of authentic line-up. Alex turner's a friggin' Shakespeare when he's onLucky 'nuf to have caught the sonar & starland ballroom shows 1st us tour. Band sorta went south after jettisoning original bass player. Fav wurst nightmare tour at electric factory a bit of (to say the least) a letdown. here's hoping new record will grow on me, but really waiting on return of authentic line-up. Alex turner's a friggin' Shakespeare when he's on about shit he knows, less engaging as dilettante. Expand
  5. Sep 14, 2011
    5
    The energy of the Monkeys have gone away in this album (and luckily came back in the following "Suck It And See") and they seem to be carrying a rock. Still, some songs as "My Propeller", "Secret Door" and "Dance Little Liar" have interesting melodies as well as lyrics. Not their best, but now we know Arctic Monkeys recovered.
  6. Ramirez
    Sep 26, 2009
    6
    It's still all too dry sounding, sometimes a good idea gets raped by quite mediocre musicianship -what's with the lame ending in that uhm (dare i call it a) 'solo' during leadsingle Crying Lightning for example? But more often it's the other way round: a really mediocre melody becomes an ok song due to an inventive typically Monkeys rythm-change (remember Fake It's still all too dry sounding, sometimes a good idea gets raped by quite mediocre musicianship -what's with the lame ending in that uhm (dare i call it a) 'solo' during leadsingle Crying Lightning for example? But more often it's the other way round: a really mediocre melody becomes an ok song due to an inventive typically Monkeys rythm-change (remember Fake Tales of San Fransisco and many others? here we see it in Dance Little Liar eg). That however doesnt make the song suddenly mindblowing either, and that's exactly my problem with the Arctics. The level of mediocricity they keep reaching since their great debut. Dance Little Liar, My Propeller and Secret Door are good though. Overall, not as good as their debut but better again after the dreadful Favourite worst nightmare, just a good album nothing more nothing less. Though they should change their sound more drastically by making it more melodically, a few effects ebows etc to keep the interest in their band alive otherwise this once hyped band will quickly fade away i'm afraid... However, lyrically as always, excellent. Expand
  7. BrynT.
    Oct 5, 2009
    6
    Not a bad album, not great either; but more importantly it was hugely unoriginal and cringinly copycat smiths-blur influences etc. at times.
  8. RicardoC.
    Sep 2, 2009
    6
    The album is depressive in a way that doesn't get to you, it just gets you bored. The only decent songs are the first two.
  9. dacre
    Aug 30, 2009
    6
    Another example of an overproduced album. All the rawness of their previous releases is gone. They have basically followed the same course as The Strokes. That's too bad.
  10. Jun 13, 2011
    6
    I was expecting so much from this album and couldn't help but be disappointed. There are some decent tracks but as an album it just doesn't seem to come together. The first 2 albums have this quality that demands you listen to the albums over and over while Humbug just doesn't. Overall, overproduced and underwhelming.
  11. Oct 20, 2011
    6
    Not all that bad an album but I have to say it was a disappointment after the class of the Arctic Monkeys first 2 albums. It's not without it's moments - Crying Lightning and Pretty Little Visitors are as good as they've produced but there are a lot of tracks on this that are dreary, dull and boring. In fairness, the band did try out a different sound here and perhaps the production is toNot all that bad an album but I have to say it was a disappointment after the class of the Arctic Monkeys first 2 albums. It's not without it's moments - Crying Lightning and Pretty Little Visitors are as good as they've produced but there are a lot of tracks on this that are dreary, dull and boring. In fairness, the band did try out a different sound here and perhaps the production is to blame for the dreary feeling of the album. The bands poorest album I think and one I'd rarely play in full any more. Expand
Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. Since so much of Humbug is about its process, it's not always immediately accessible or pleasurable to an outside listener, nor is it quite the thickly colored freakout Homme's presence suggests.
  2. Turner’s defense mechanisms are as honed and as vicious as his rather formidable bullshit detector has proven to be in albums past, and whatever Humbug lacks in middle fingers, or even thematic continuity, it makes up for with sinister gazes and scathing ambiguities.
  3. Humbug isn't better than either of its predecessors, but it expands the group's range and makes me curious where it might go next.