Alex Turner – Submarine OST
I realised recently that though my undying love for Alex Turner grows exponentially and his band’s ‘Humbug’ is a usual passenger in the side door of my car, I have never really considered his solo album, ‘Submarine‘, as something that could quite match anything that Arctic Monkeys as a whole always come up with. But the more I listen, the more I realise that you can’t just place Turner’s ‘Submarine‘ next to his band’s other albums – it would be completely out of context and an unfair judgement on how quietly brilliant this little soundtrack is.
This aptly titled EP was written as a soundtrack to the film, ‘Submarine’, based on the novel by Joe Dunfore. It follows the awkward struggle of 15-year old Oliver Tate into young adulthood: the usual problems of losing your virginity ASAP, utilizing extreme monitoring measures to keep your parents’ marriage alive, living life as the socially awkward doe-eyed teenager in dreamland… all with a mellow and honest soundtrack playing along to describe your whole life. Turner persuades us that his renowned skills of crafty lyrics are still very much alive, as he does a splendid job of portraying Oliver’s most awkward encounters through the music. 5 tracks (plus a brief intro) of innocent, naive loveliness with little musical elaboration besides clean guitar tones, Alex’s dreamlike purr – especially in ‘Hiding Tonight‘ – and a hint of piano and simple bass guitar in ‘Stuck On The Puzzle’, whose opening lyric of “I’m not the kind of fool who’s gonna sit and sing to you about stars” is complete irony in light of the whole album! “Something in your magnetism must’ve pissed them off, forcing them to get an early night” – the stars he refused to sing about just 20 seconds ago, I presume. Only Turner could get away with lyrics like these, only Turner.
But whilst the whole album is an unassuming masterpiece, there is one track that stands out to me personally: ‘Piledriver Waltz’. It’s the combination of piano, sleepy voice, the lyrics of “You look like you’ve been for breakfast at the Heartbreak Hotel” and changes in signature between verse and the waltzy chorus – it just makes the perfect combination. I leave you with no option other than to nod your head in agreement.
Pardon the bias of this review. I’m a sucker for anything Turner comes out with.
‘Submarine EP’ was released 14th March 2011