As we patiently await the next chapter in his ever-evolving journey, what better time to take pause and marvel at the brilliance of Alex Turner’s career so far as a new album seems to loom large on the horizon.
His back catalogue may seem starkly disparate on the surface as he and his cohorts in his main vehicle, Arctic Monkeys, have staunchly stuck to the David Bowie ethos of “never play to the gallery. Always remember that the reason you initially started working was that there was something inside yourself that you felt that if you could manifest it in some way, you would understand more about yourself and how you coexist with the rest of society.”
There are, however, some notable binding ties that run throughout the mercurial musician’s work. Notably his sui generis wordplay and the sauntering often bass-led melodies of his songs.
Alex Turner’s lyricism is akin to some rogue bastard offspring of an interstellar Sylvia Plath and a particularly drunken Coen Brothers character. Then this mutant human cannonball of wit and benevolent intent staggered into a barber’s for a bowl cut met John Cooper Clarke while waiting and, afterwards, was erroneously given a microphone instead of a lollipop for being a good boy. In front of which, the mutant somehow stumbled its way to offering up beatific rhapsody for the masses. If that’s not too mad a thing to say?
His wordplay is as rock and roll as a Stratocaster wrapped around the fender of a Cadillac, as Yorkshire as a pot of tea at a Test match, and as hearty as a warm busty embrace. In a career whereby the songsmith has now been in the Arctic Monkeys longer than he hasn’t, he has traversed the far reaches of songwriting to return with an incredibly singular style that somehow still lends itself to commercial success. This wayward journey has catapulted the Monkeys to the upper reaches of the alternative scene worldwide.
This playlist includes every song that he has featured on available on Spotify from start to finish, including his brief one-line appearance in Queens of the Stoneage’s ‘If I Had a Tail’ and his production work on Alexandra Savior’s debut, Belladonna of Sadness. For the sake of avoiding repetition, all live versions and session tracks have been omitted.