Album Review: Arctic Monkeys – AM

Arctic Monkeys – AM

arctic-monkeys-am-album-artwork

Arctic Monkeys; the fabled band of Sheffield, the poster boys of today’s modern rock era — wait. Bet you thought I was going to be another of those bloggers that treats Alex Turner like some sort of demi-god and idolises the band with shrines and creepy fan photos. Well, no. Don’t get me wrong, I like a bit of Arctic Monkeys now and again, but never before have a band been so crazily overrated. This blog isn’t some corporate magazine that’s scared to tell their opinion because of potential fan backlash. Here I openly give you my honest opinions; so here you are!

Okay! Statement time over, now let’s review some music (;

Despite being an album with little variation (I complained about it; sue me), my opinions on AM varied from day to day. At times it feels lively and funky, mostly due to the new blues-rock influence in the music, however when listened to over a longer period of time the album felt a little bland and somewhat uninspired. The evolution of Arctic Monkeys style isn’t necessarily a bad thing, after all AM is widely revered by people everywhere already, however I feel as if AM as an album could have been handled with a bit more panache. The fact that Alex Turner and co have evolved is great for them and allows them to continue to develop as a great band, also showing they have the talent to adapt. While some certainly miss the previously Arctic Monkeys sound, it’s certainly been slowly developing into this current style through their albums, so a change was expected. This isn’t anything of a radical overhaul though, despite how many people complain about it.

The album opener is ‘Do I Wanna Know?’, which caught criticism when it was first revealed as some fans complained it sounded too similar to the song that succeeds it on AM, ‘R U Mine?’. It’s a nice, steady introduction to the new Arctic Monkeys, with a guitar riff that rolls with the drum and clap beat nicely.

‘R U Mine?’ is like ‘Do I Wanna Know?”s much cooler older brother as it’s way more lively and high tempo. The guitar sounds harsher, almost growling, with some pretty cool distortion at the start. This song is a great example of Alex’s quality lyricism.

I go crazy ‘cos here isn’t where I wanna be, and satisfaction feels like a distant memory

My favourite song on the album would probably be ‘Arabella’, which definitely has the coolest lyrics and most diverse tone throughout. A slow introduction leads into a funky riff that slows down just as naturally as it speeds up.

Arabella’s got some inter-stellar gator-skin boots
And a helter-skelter round her little finger and I ride it endlessly
She’s got a Barbarella silver swimsuit
And when she needs to shelter from reality
She takes a dip in my daydreams

‘Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?’ is probably the most hyped song on the album, and I can only agree with Alex Turner’s mantra when he says “Don’t believe the hype”… I find this song to be a bit boring and repetitive, and definitely preferred it’s B-side ‘Stop The World I Wanna Get Off With You’.

Undoubtedly, Arctic Monkeys save the best until last, with Alex Turner’s voice and lyrics being the centerpiece of this great record. The lyrics of ‘I Wanna Be Yours’ are classic AM, delivered with the signature Turner English twang. The song is an adaptation of the John Cooper Clarke poem of identical name, a great homage to the well-known ‘punk poet’.

It’s a love/hate album to me; there’s the good, the bad, but not much inbetween. To me, AM can only be described as a disappointment as it probably could have been much better.

If you have any feedback then leave a comment here or drop a tweet to @clinture! Cheers for reading.

~Clint~

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