The Age Of The Understatement - The Last Shadow Puppets
Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 25
  2. Negative: 0 out of 25
  1. This isn't just a novel idea that is haphazardly hashed out but rather, the work of two impeccable musicians and it's a fine addition to either musician's catalog and a brilliant one at that.
  2. The Age of the Understatement is ultimately an auspicious work from a couple of twentysomethings looking to transcend the term ''side project.''
  3. The Last Shadow Puppets is an awesome achievement--a modern reinvigoration of an archaic, dead musical language.
  4. The Age Of The Understatement is just plain good fun. [Spring 2008, p.78]
  5. The Age of the Understatement might have been conceived as a tribute to a beloved era in music but thanks to the industry, enthusiasm and talent of Alex Turner and Miles Kane it’s become something much more interesting than that: a great record in its own right.
  6. 80
    The Last Shadow Puppets is an extraordinary side project that's even more enticing than the mothership. [May 2008, p.100]
  7. 80
    With Arcade Fire arranger Owen Pallett draping the songs in sympathetic strings and producer James Ford working overtime on drums, the result is a widescreen epic, full of high fevers and crystal-clear vocal performances.
  8. Despite all the intensity, the Last Shadow Puppets have a light touch--their songs are short and don't overstay their welcome, and the whole affair is just arty and indulgent enough to make it special.
  9. Equal parts 007-intrigue and spaghetti western-histrionics, this is music at its most cinematic.
  10. It's remarkable that what started as a drunken joke between two musicians in their early 20s can sound so polished and professional.
  11. It's a stunning record, a must-have even, but it fails to turn musical excellence into cultural significance and may end up being played in branches of Borders rather than in bedrooms everywhere.
  12. Songs like 'Calm Like You' and 'Black Plant' positively swing, and despite the presence of a 22-piece orchestra, the lyrical bite and brisk pacing mean things never topple into cheesy pastiche. Moonlighting hasn't been this much fun since Bruce Willis had hair.
  13. It’s a great collection of songs. And that’s the understatement.
  14. In a surprise move, Alex Turner goes back to 1966
  15. Pallet deserves equal billing for his album arrangements, which lend The Age of Understatement its epic splendor.
  16. 78
    Full of enough gorgeous orchestration and swooping crescendos to make John Berry proud, the songs are as much ambitiously cinematic as they are heartfelt pop tunes. [Spring 2008, p.92]
  17. So obviously the biggest difference between the Last Shadow Puppets and Turner's main gig is in the lyrics. Though less immediately noticeable than the majestic production, the change in the scale of Turner's songwriting is ultimately more profound.
  18. The Age Of The Understatement is as solid an idea in execution as it is in concept; a record unafraid to reach beyond its obvious limitations and produce a swashbuckling end result that might even broaden a few horizons for fans and players alike.
  19. The Age of the Understatement is weirdly epic (Nick Cave), full of harmony (Mamas and the Papas), a little charming (Robbie Williams) and dead fucking sexy (any James Bond but Timothy Dalton).
  20. 70
    The up-tempo numbers are great fun, but the Puppets excel on the ballads, which they croon in lovely tight harmony. [May 2008, p.100]
  21. 60
    The duo fight back with song after song full of cutting takedowns and brotherly wisdom--they get petty, they get mean, but aided by Arcade Fire orchestrator Owen Pallett, they turn their bitchfests into grandiose melodrama.
  22. The Age Of The Understatement is a frustrating thing shot through with clear signs of its authors' gifts, but too beholden to its influences where it should be stidendt and distinctive. [May 2008, p.125]
  23. Turner's new side project, a collaboration with Miles Kane of Merseyside indie-poppers the Rascals, is a shameless nostalgia trip--and it's still compelling.
  24. This record is not for everybody--including, I suspect, the majority of Arctic Monkeys fans. Nonetheless, Turner deserves props for unleashing his inner Bowie and embracing artifice with such nerve and verve.
  25. This might be news to the Arctic Monkeys’ Alex Turner, but for every artist there’s a point where aspiration exceeds ability. The Last Shadow Puppets, his new studio dalliance with pal Miles Kane, have way overshot it on The Age Of The Understatement.
User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 44 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 8
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 8
  3. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. sk
    May 7, 2008
    10
    A beautiful and inspiring album. definitely one of the greatest and most interesting releases of the year.
  2. Dec 28, 2013
    8
    A beautifully crafted record with some excellent production going on. The Last Shadow Puppets sees two obviously highly talented songwriters joing forces. While the result is less than the sum of its parts and with Turner especially capable of more, the record fares well when considered as a side project. For the most part Turner's work with his motherband far surpass what he does here. While dealing with a style that could be likened to something from the late 50's/early 60's, remarkably it's the freshness of ideas and the production that impresses most with much of the album having a sound that falls somewhere between Scott Walker and The La's. "Staqnding Next To Me" and "Black Plant" stand out. Full Review »
  3. Feb 12, 2012
    8
    The band should be called The Last Shadow Puppets And Owen Pallett, because the work Owen did for this album is marvellous, as well as the beautiful songs that Alex turner and Miles Kane wrote. A wonderful side project for both! Full Review »