AM

  • Record Label: Domino
  • Release Date: Sep 10, 2013
Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 36
  2. Negative: 0 out of 36
Buy On
  1. Sep 5, 2013
    50
    AM lacks that character empathy: rather than being detached--ie, cool, wry, transverted--Turner is removed (impulsive, anxious, dull) and it is this subtle distinction that shoots AM down in its shiny leather metal-toed boots.
  2. Aug 30, 2013
    55
    The Monkeys have pulled off their most technically adroit and controlled recording of their career. Whether that's a good thing for longstanding fans is another matter. [Aug-Sep 2013, p.87]
  3. Magnet
    Sep 19, 2013
    55
    AM's wheel-spinning is a bit of a letdown, but a handful of tracks keep it from being a total throwaway. [No. 102, p.52]
  4. 50
    The songs are still sullen, smart and cleverly constructed. But too often on AM, Arctic Monkeys sound less like amalgamators than like imitators.
User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 567 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 73 out of 86
  2. Negative: 5 out of 86
  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 seriousOne 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 byA 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 »