Arctic Monkeys' Humbug - 10 Years On: Ranking The Tracks From Worst To Best

The band were growing up, and fast...

Domino

Ten years have passed since Arctic Monkeys thrust their divisive third album, Humbug, into the world. Upon its release, it was a record that proudly broke with the established style of the group and smoothly cut their ties with the shallow world of balls-to-the-wall "lad rock".

Derided by some on initial unveiling as too much of an oblique departure from the Monkeys' preceding records, Humbug can now be viewed as the lighting of the touch-paper of experimentation that would filter through the band's ever-evolving sound in the 2010s. It's certainly impossible to imagine Turner and Co. ever checking into last year's Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino without first earning their stripes across the topsy-turvy thoroughfare of their psychedelic opus.

What follows is a countdown of Humbug's tracks, from worst to best. Totally subjective, of course. A contest between ten tracks very hard to choose between, and a celebration of what is arguably the Sheffield quartet's finest hour.

10. My Propeller

As the group grew, so did Alex Turner's burgeoning hard-on for the ins and outs of male sexuality. Previous tracks such as "Still Take You Home" and "Fluorescent Adolescent" had already ensured that such seedy topics were already high up on the frontman's lyrical agenda, but "My Propeller" was perhaps the most on-the-nose of Turner's carnal calls to date.

Beginning with a guitar-and-drum combination with an uncanny resemblance to The Clash's "The Magnificent Seven", Humbug's opening track turns propellers and plane travel into the most unlikely of sexual metaphors and really sets the raunchy tone for album.

Gone is the group who celebrated the awkwardness of teenage lust, replaced by a randy quartet with eyes set on unleashing all the seediness of the id.

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Daniel Owens has contributed 1 post since joining in August 2019.