Cheeky Brits Arctic Monkeys have fashioned a career out of clever quips, sharp-elbowed riffs, and Alex Turner's carefree voice. But their fourth album is uneven, lacking both energy and inspiration. Too many songs on Suck It and See are bogged down by middling tempos and bland melodies. For the first time, it feels like Arctic Monkeys lean too heavily on Britpop nostalgia. "Black Treacle" crosses Pulp's lounge cool with the Pixies' wiry barbs, while "She's Thunderstorms" conjures early Radiohead, down to the keening vocals and unsettled chord drones. Suck It and See is more entertaining when the band indulges its evil side, like on the bluesy dervish-whirl "Library Pictures" and the stoneriffic "Don't Sit Down 'Cause I've Moved Your Chair," which are full of deliciously sinister riffs and sassy one-liners. — Annie Zaleski
Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.