Arctic Monkeys - Humbug
Critic Score
Based on 36 reviews
2009 Ratings: #143 / 867
Year End Rank: #27
User Score
Based on 793 ratings
2009 Ratings: #86
Liked by 21 people
August 25, 2009 / Release Date
LP / Format
Domino / Label
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The 405

Although maybe desperate to escape the comfortable surroundings they find themselves in, Humbug is an as yet career defining showcase of a band that have never sounded more comfortable in their own skin. And it fucking rocks.


Let's be honest, the early signs were not good. Recording in the Mojave desert, talk of a 'heavier, rockier direction', early publicity photos sporting long hair and moustaches... were Arctic Monkeys turning into The Killers circa the Sam's Town era?


The heroic vision of the Monkeys has culminated in a brooding and dauntingly dark album, which is, from start to finish, their strongest and most accomplished work to date.


Arctic Monkeys were never comfortable as the ‘voice of a generation’. Humbug subtly shrugs off that unwanted mantle, and in the same deft movement, promises a much more interesting future.

The Observer

Suck it and see what you get: something a bit crunchier that's been boiled up with producer Josh Homme in the Mojave Desert, but with the sweetener of Alex Turner's words.


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.


Humbug makes two things clear: Arctic Monkeys are serious about being in a band, about making music, and they are the first major British band in generations unencumbered by fear or spite for America.

Spectrum Culture

A Nick Cave-influenced Arctic Monkeys record. We’ve landed in Bizarro World, boyos, and it ain’t as bad as you think.

A.V. Club

More often than not on Humbug, they sound like a less inspired version of themselves.


...Wait, THIS is the album that’s the most boring album to grace boringville? THIS?!

Maybe I should back up a bit and do some background before I delve deep. Last time we saw the British Boys, they were winning, and winning hard. Their explosive blend of punk, rock and pop sped past at unfathomable speeds on ‘Favorite Worst Nightmare’, and people were just starting to catch up. More beady eyes were on Arctic Monkeys than ever ... read more
This album doesn’t deliver anything that I wouldn’t get from a different artist. Alex Turner manages to ruin every song he is on with awful vocals, really unfocused lyrics and emotions, and just a dry overall presence

The only thing saving this album is some cool riffs or breakdowns occasionally. That’s literally it

This is a small review in comparison to my full 40 minute reaction. I thought my reaction was hilarious and even if you disagree with my opinion please check it ... read more
So @hurvi was yelling on Twitter about this album being shit and I was disagreeing, so I went to relisten to it and well... his opinion holds some merit. Humbug is the final album in the Arctic Monkey's "indie" phase before they got pretty big, and it marks their shift in musical style, which you can decide if it's for the better or worse. Either way they shifted towards a more lo-fi/stoner rock sound and for the most part, it works really well! There are just a few small little tiny ... read more
This is my favorite from their indie-still phase, before they went full global phenomenom.
It has a very 'lads up to no good' feel to it, to me. Clever and humourous lyrics, good instrument play, well balanced production between all elements. Carries a lot of replay value with me.

GO LISTEN TO: Secret Door.
“Humbug” is a very deserving title for such a moody-sounding album. The new psychedelic/stoner rock direction presents some of the best songs the Arctic Monkeys have ever written. Alex Turner steals the show with his clever lyrics and vocal personality on top of Josh Homme’s great production.

Fav Tracks: Cornerstone, Crying Lightning, The Jeweller’s Hands, Secret Door, Dance Little Liar, My Propeller, Pretty Visitors

Least Fav Track: Fire And The ... read more
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Track List

  1. My Propeller 
  2. Crying Lightning 
  3. Dangerous Animals 
  4. Secret Door 
  5. Potion Approaching 
  6. Fire and the Thud 
  7. Cornerstone 
  8. Dance Little Liar 
  9. Pretty Visitors 
  10. The Jeweller’s Hands

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