Arctic Monkeys–Love is a Laserquest

Everybody knows that “popular” music is largely the realm of the young.  Even serious songwriters, those who examine politics and the human condition, tend to have a pretty early expiry date when it comes to the quality of their work.  As a result, I always find it interesting when songwriters take the time to examine their youth, whether struggling to hold onto it or reminiscing about its passing.  Alex Turner manages a bit of both in Love is a Laserquest.  Technically it’s his girl who’s worried about getting old, but he reassures her that’s she’s “still breaking hearts with the efficiency that only youth can harness.”  While she seems terrified of aging, he seems to welcome the wisdom that comes with it, or at least the distance it creates from the overwhelming nature of youthful emotions.  It’s a tender, thoughtful song, mournful of a seemingly growing separation between the two, but accepting it with newly minted maturity.  Turner almost whispers the lyrics.  You can practically hear him glancing off in distant contemplation.  Jamie Cook is in full on Johnny Marr mode with a sterling, crystalline guitar that channels the wistful, reflective qualities of the lyrics.  One of the great Arctic Monkeys ballads, the lads are sophisticated enough now to let the song’s simplicity speak for itself.

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