Music Reviews

EP Review: The Last Shadow Puppets – The Dream Synopsis

After the release of their second album Everything You’ve Come to Expect and the world tour which followed, The Last Shadow Puppets return with The Dream Synopsis EP. Featuring reworked album tracks and covers alike, the EP presumably acts as a parting gift from the band.

“Alex Turner’s French pronunciation would send linguists into a depressive frenzy”

The EP opens with a “reworked” version of ‘Aviation’ which is blindingly similar to its original. Despite this, it holds a certain live rawness, riddled with suitable effects pedals and an impressive strings section. The track became a favourite for fans during their recent tour and thus gives reason for its inclusion on the EP.

Generally, a Last Shadow Puppets show includes a vast range of covers, spanning from Bowie to the Beatles. Most striking is their version of legendary French singer Jacques Dutronc’s ‘Les Cactus’. Though Alex Turner’s French pronunciation would send linguists into a depressive frenzy, it is intriguing to see the merger of the two languages. Though its production is incredibly similar to the original, the British band still manage to capture an essence of the surreal which surrounds not only the aura of the band but more obviously a song describing the omnipresent nature of a cactus.

“We now come to a point where the project seems rightfully closed for the time being”

Though sometimes falling behind the lavish ego of Turner, Miles Kane still encapsulates a pivotal role which is noted in the inclusion of both ‘Totally Wired’ and ‘This is Your Life’. Originally by The Fall and Glaxo Babies respectively, the two tracks are far more suited to the Liverpool-born musician. The latter even manages to give off an eerie, mysterious vibe well suited to early winter nights.

First formed in 2008, The Last Shadow puppets initially released debut album The Age of the Understatement to much critical acclaim. Despite this, only a handful of live dates were announced and the process seemed to be somewhat shorter and less fulfilled than expected. The release of their second album early this year and the touring process was far more elongated, however, and we now come to a point where the project seems rightfully closed for the time being. With Kane being an incredibly successful solo artist and Turner most obviously being the frontman for the Arctic Monkeys, one can only assume that TLSP will be taking yet another elongated rest period.

Perhaps the most emotional, and certainly the most relevant song on the EP is Turner’s cover of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Is This What You Wanted’. Released just before his death in November, the cover is a soft, elegant, well produced track which effortlessly asserts Turner’s strong voice. However, despite this, one can only ponder the song-writing ability of Cohen which far outshines the majority – one of the greats of our generation. The Last Shadow Puppets certainly do justice to an eternally great songwriter.

Whether it be a contractual obligation or a parting gift following such a devoted, well followed world tour, The Dream Synopsis EP does well to emphasise Turner’s majestic musical talent, only heightened through Kane’s inclusion. In a dreary year, the band added a lighter, intriguing tone to concert halls and festivals worldwide, their music being a true form of escapism.

 Charlie Barnes

Image courtesy of Domino Records

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