AM - Arctic Monkeys
Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 36
  2. Negative: 0 out of 36
  1. 100
    Arctic Monkeys’ fifth record is absolutely and unarguably the most incredible album of their career. It might also be the greatest record of the last decade.
  2. Sep 9, 2013
    100
    This is perfection from a band at the absolute top of their game, but this by no means implies that they’ve peaked.
  3. Sep 10, 2013
    92
    Arctic Monkeys arrive at the end of AM a lot wiser than they may have appeared from the slow opening stomp of the LP.
  4. 91
    Five albums in, they may not be a buzz band anymore, but they've become something much more interesting: a good band.
  5. 90
    In the end AM not only signifies a career-defining moment that neatly places the band on a proper pedestal for all to admire--this is where not only Arctic Monkeys have come but in many ways, how they’ve masterfully conquered and continue to simply win.
  6. Sep 9, 2013
    90
    While the days of the indie dancefloor hits from their first two records may be long gone, the Arctic Monkeys we’re left with now are undoubtedly at the top of their game.
  7. Sep 6, 2013
    90
    It’s the romantic last dance of an album that shows that they’re still the same old Monkeys. Just dressed up slicker and sexier.
  8. Sep 4, 2013
    90
    A punch drunk brawler with a heart, it's the pay off to a perfect evolution.
  9. AM is a pitch black party record, full of menacing pop and grimy, indelible grooves drowned in bourbon.
  10. Sep 10, 2013
    83
    Although it doesn’t always measure up to its ambitions, AM is easily Arctic Monkeys’ most realized record, and one that will further bridge the gaps for a band that began as bards for scruffy street tales.
  11. 83
    They’ve evolved certain factors of their sound and ventured into new territory, but AM is not so much a change of direction as it is an affirmation of all the musical elements that made the band exhilarating to begin with--inspired lyrics, screeching riffs and great melodies.
  12. Sep 9, 2013
    82
    As soon as AM’s 12 tracks are over, you’ll be lunging for the play button again--it’s that good.
User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 306 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 50 out of 56
  2. Negative: 4 out of 56
  1. Sep 10, 2013
    10
    One of the best proper rock albums in a while. They managed to merge the sounds of the past two records into something magical. A serious contender for album of the year! Full Review »
  2. Oct 22, 2013
    0
    A generic, typically terrible arctic monkeys release that unsurprisingly fails in any sort of attempt at innovation. Sadly, it will sell by the truckload. Full Review »
  3. Sep 11, 2013
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. It seems to go without saying that Arctic Monkeys are one of the musical ‘greats’ in the making, and rightfully so. Their 5th studio album, “AM”, takes you on a voyage through the emotions, the push and pull of every day life, leaving you perfectly satisfied when looking back on where you’ve been. This is a band really at the top of their game, doing what they do best: producing fantastic music.

    “AM” is such a diverse album, full of creativity and experimentation, that really keeps you excited throughout. The opening combination of sister tracks “Do I Wanna Know?” and “R U Mine?” is pure genius, after the drowsy downbeat tempo of the first you simply cannot help rising to your feet and losing it a little to the sublime latter. Talk about a contrast in emotions! But the musical delight has only just begun, as we are introduced to an unfamiliar track in “One For The Road” which brings together a Dre-esque rhythm and “oooh-ooohs” borrowed from “Sympathy For The Devil” with echoes of “Humbug”.

    “Arabella’s got some interstellar gatorskin boots/ And a Helter Skelter ‘round her little finger and I ride it endlessly” Alex Turner croons in the opening seconds of “Arabella”, satisfying fans of his lyrical talent, before the track builds into an eruption of rock guitar and pounding drums. Contrast yet again intervenes as the ironically-named “No.1 Party Anthem”, which has “Submarine” written all over it, combines with the beautiful “Mad Sounds” to create a couple of tracks that recall Lou Reed & The Velvet Underground (Let’s not forget that the title “AM” is a sure imitation of the latter band’s “VU”). Slow paced, these “mad sounds in your ears” are romantic and extremely pleasant to listen to.

    After the central relaxation of the LP, the pace and energy build yet again around Matt Helders’ drums in “Fireside” and Nick O’Malley’s bass in “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?”. The next track, “Snap Out Of It” is a personal favourite amongst the unheard pieces on the album, namely because it is so damn catchy: before you know it you’ll be singing along to “I wanna grab both your shoulders and shake, baby, snap out of it” oh if only life were that simple.

    Arctic Monkeys have a knack for closing tracks. Think of “A Certain Romance”, “505”, “The Jewelers Hands” and “That’s Where You’re Wrong” over their last four LPs. “AM” is no exception to the rule; “I Wanna Be Yours” is a stunning tribute to one of Alex Turner’s most important influences in poet John Cooper Clarke. Turner’s interpretation certainly sounds nothing like the original performed by Clarke, but adds a dimension of eerie despair as backing vocals desperately repeat “I wanna be yours” before a decrescendo into silence marks the start of another few years of waiting until Arctic Monkeys’ next release.
    Full Review »