Well if you wanna go by sales... Tranquility Base went #1 in more than 10 countries plus certified Gold in the UK, was nominated for the Mercury Prize and the Grammys... Humbug only went to #1 on the British Isles (for one or two weeks). In the US it never reached past the top twenty. No singles went to the top of the charts and it never received any nominiations for the major pop music awards either in the UK or the US.
I remember the mainstream media and fans saying they didn't like the new heavy sound of Humbug and Josh Homme's influence and Alex Turner's darker, more introspective and abstract lyrics... or preferred the older sound of catchy indie rock hits. Much like some some fans and critics did with Tranquility Base. My point is not to make a competition between what record was the most rebellious or heavy or something. Just saying the Monkeys have been at "normie-freaking" for quite a lot longer than just a year. Especially if you define that as not giving a f*ck about expectations and not making music to please the crowds, which is something they've done often throughout their career.
Well I’m basing my normie-freaking claim on long-time fans I know who can’t get on with Tranquility Base. Specifically I had a friend in high school who got into them when their debut came out and who’s been obsessive about them ever since. When the new album came out he sold his ticket to see them live and everything. He just really doesn’t get it.