The Last Romance - Arab Strap

Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. It is astonishing that after a 10-year long affair Arab Strap can make a record as compelling as this.
  2. Triumphant, bitter, despondent, but never false or insincere, The Last Romance is one of the early great listens of 2006.
  3. Ten tracks equal one very explicit diary entry of lust – for life, as much as intimacy – nearly every single line worthy of another song cycle.
  4. Arab Strap's dark, funny, miserable, and--gasp--catchy The Last Romance sounds like the album Aidan Moffat and Malcolm Middleton wouldn't let themselves make in the past, but finally relented to.
  5. 82
    We come to this band expected to be thrown down the Trainspotting toilet, and this is exactly where The Last Romance takes us. [#19, p.90]
  6. In among the usual awkward, bad sex and sharp-yet-jaundiced eye on what others settle for, there's something unusual for this pair: hope. [12 Nov 2005, p.45]
  7. With 'The Last Romance', a whole lot of people are at last going to fall in love with Arab Strap for the very first time.
  8. 80
    Theirs remains a gallows wit. [Nov 2005, p.112]
  9. 80
    The implausible but winning transformation is complete: Arab Strap have made a genuinely uplifting record. [Dec 2005, p.109]
  10. 80
    [Their] rain-soaked misery [is] now nicely offset by a simmering rage. [May 2006, p.82]
  11. Those who stick with Arab Strap will discover endearing wit and vulnerability in the duo's songs, as well as tender melodies and graceful acoustic playing. [Apr 2006, p.204]
  12. 80
    Arab Strap's most affecting album yet. [#71, p.86]
  13. Despondent and furious by turns.
  14. The Last Romance, for all its disgusted veneer and inner conflict, both reads like a cogent statement and plays like a finely tuned instrument.
  15. 75
    Romance is zippier and tighter than previous beer cries. [Mar 2006, p.95]
  16. It's feverish, unbalanced, disturbing, and for the most part captivating.
  17. [Moffat] exposes a seething rage that was only occasionally revealed on the earlier albums. In the minds of some Arab Strap fans, this is a breakthrough; others, sadly, hear a betrayal.
  18. Malcolm Middleton’s electric and bass guitars have never sounded so big, and they’re better that way.
  19. 60
    They've... picked up the tempo, sweetened the tunes and upgraded the rhythm section. [Mar 2006, p.109]
  20. Follows a smilar pattern to 2003's Monday At The Hug And Pint, fleshing out their deceptively simple songs with expanded arrangements and quicker tempos. [Dec 2005, p.148]
  21. While his tortured, guttural delivery comes off as the lunatic ramblings of an abusive boyfriend, the actual lyrical meat of The Last Romance rings with the uncomfortable, ugly truth of facing your hungover self in the mirror the morning after a one-night stand.
  22. Things improve considerably when the pair abandons the preening street-cred game; Moffat and Middleton seem finally to realize that if they're going to make a love record they might as well not half-ass it.

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