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Music to Atone To
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“And I never thought, not in a million years / That I’d meet so many Lolas.” Who is Lola and how has Alex Turner met so many people with that name? Clearly, The Arctic Monkeys frontman isn’t referencing a specific person, but rather people who may very well be disappointments in their own right, not to mention disappointment in general, unfortunate happenings, and plenty of ‘bad.’ Ah, Turner’s headspace provides perfect fodder for atonement. “American Sports,” a highlight from the band’s conceptual 2018 album Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino, focuses on the bothersome things happening in the world. 

This relatively brief, minor-key record encompasses a little bit of everything, requiring decoding and interpretation. The lyrics and themes make it truly special. Politics are at the top of the list, with Arctic Monkeys referencing the 2016 election on the first verse:

“I saw this aura over the battleground states
I lost the money, lost the keys
But I’m still handcuffed to the briefcase.”

On the second verse, Turner sings about ‘fake news’ (“Breaking news, they take the truth and make it fluid”) and takes a shot at The Commander in Chief (“…Soundtracked by a chorus of, ‘you don’t know what you’re doing’”).  Of course, it’s not all atonement for the biggest electoral upset ever, or even the unfortunate Parliament Brawl Turner mentions. He also seems to be critical about how superficial and ‘fake’ the modern world is.  This even has an effect on religion: “Emergency battery pack, just in time for my weekly chat / With God on video call.”  And, as the title suggests, there’s also the sports component: “And all of my most ‘muscular’ regrets / Explode behind my eyes like American sports.” The big takeaway?  America, and the world as a whole, has its fair share of shortcomings. Big time atonement necessary!

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About The Curator - Brent Faulkner

Brent Faulkner - Music to Curator

Slightly eccentric with interests that seem to know no ends, restless ‘Renaissance Man’ is the best way to characterize Brent Faulkner, a native of Kentucky.  A certified music educator, multi-instrumentalist, and composer known for his incredibly sharp ear, he lives and breathes music of a variety of styles.  In addition to passion for educating, performing, and writing music, he’s equally passionate blogging and writing about it, managing his own site, The Musical Hype ( When he’s not intensely analyzing music, you can find him reading or watching a movie, reality television or some sporting event.