AM - Arctic Monkeys
User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 306 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 11 out of 306

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  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!
  2. Sep 11, 2013
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand 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.
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  3. Sep 10, 2013
    9
    The Arctic monkeys (again) create an album that is fine tuned and realized. For such a young band, now with a respectable number of albums under their belt, their sound has matured to a point where most bands take decades to reach. If you liked Suck it and See and Humbug, you'll find a lot here. AM's track list is a good length, but doesn't overstay it's welcome. The hooks are catchy and the vocal are smooth as silk. The content is dark and dreary, like being a smoke filled speak-easy, but that's what I love about this band. This isn't the punk garage band anymore, they have moved on to the big leagues. AM is an album that proves this even further. Expand
  4. Sep 10, 2013
    10
    This album showcases a very mature vibe its an instant classic its addicting well crafted ,has great lyrics and has the potential to be the best album of the decade Great Rock Record.
  5. Sep 13, 2013
    10
    This album completely blew me away. I had high expectations for this album since I heard the first single, but I never expected it to possible be their best album. This very well may be the album of the year.
  6. Sep 17, 2013
    10
    In my opinion this is one of the best albums they have ever done, I love the hip-hop vibe you can tell were incorporated into their songs.. One of the best albums in a long while
  7. Sep 17, 2013
    9
    This is a fantastic record, and I thought a completely unexpected twist for the Arctic Monkeys. They took the rock sound from the last couple of albums, knocked it up a notch in a few songs (Do I Wanna Know and R U Mine of course), added some catchy falsetto chanting and sprinkled in some interesting older influences. Alex Turner's voice seriously comes into its own on this album, I realised how fantastic his voice, style and lyricism have become in this record. Give it a listen, whether you've loved all of Arctic Monkeys, or even if you fell out of love with them after their last two albums (I know quite a few people who have which is a shame). Expand
  8. Nov 26, 2013
    10
    These guys really are Alex Turner put to is simply one of the best albums of the decade and for me there was no better release that ''AM'' in 2013. Arctic Monkeys since its debut, when they were still young and had the appearance of a garage band, only been evolving positively, this album now, until we see influences from genres of black music built, worth listening every minute of this album. Recommend! Expand
  9. Sep 14, 2013
    10
    Arctic Monkey's latest effort has taken a turn in their rock style. While having heavy dance music like beats throughout most of this album, accompanied by some tight guitar playing, this record is definitely their most cohesive work since their debut. Definitely going to be one of my favourites this year.
  10. Sep 15, 2013
    10
    Brilliant album, one of the coolest I've ever heard. My favourite song from the album is Arabella, one of the best songs I've heard in a long time. Some very catchy songs like Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High?, Snap Out Of It and I Want It All. Can't recommend this album enough.
  11. Sep 13, 2013
    9
    AM Does it's job as a post midnight, chilled out rock album. Simple, strong compositions, singular beats that give so much feeling. Unlike Suck it and See, they've knocked this one out of the park.
  12. Sep 18, 2013
    9
    Wow, after 1st listen i was dissapointed (it was like week ago). Yesterday cause of lack of new music (Reflektor, come out already please I gave it another chance at work JESUS, I kept on repeating album for like 4 strate hours, it's my 2nd fav AM album right now (WPSIATWIN is reason why I fell in love with this band in a 1st place). It's one of these albums that You don't like after 1st listen but if u give it another go you wont stop listening to it. Expand
  13. Jan 12, 2014
    9
    Apart from a couple of tracks, this album has some of the most exciting rock music I've heard in a long time. Some very great guitar work in here. Not to mention the vocals and lyrics. I'm very glad to have heard this.
  14. Oct 25, 2013
    10
    This is the best album you will listen to all year long. An absolute masterpiece from the Monkeys. They never fail to amaze with each album, constantly delivering pieces of pure genius but even for Alex Turner this propels him to an ever greater legendary status. 'AM' seems to have gained the Monkeys universal acclaim and got them the recognition and success they fully merit! It's easily the most accessible of all their albums with such a range of and variety of emotions on show. Lead track 'Do I Wanna Know' kicks 'AM' off is fabulous fashion. It immediately draws you in and will have you playing it over and over again on repeat (Till you fall asleep?) and instant hit for sure. But from there they burst into an already cult classic for fans 'R U Mine?' It's a proper tune. And will have you rising to your feet and just chanting along. 'One For The Road' then takes you in a different direction, it's an unusual track from Arctic Monkeys. At it's roots seem an R&B rhythm mixed with 'Humbug' elements making for a splendid song. 'Arabella' is lyrically majestic! From interstellargator skinboots to helter skelters.. It's just an abundance of talent poured into one amazing tune which ends up erupting into rock guitar and banging drums. Track number 5, 'I Want It All' despite not being on pat with the majority of other songs on the album it's smart lyrics and delivery makes it enjoyable. Next, 'No.1 Party Anthem' which is in deep contrast as to what you'd expect from the name of the song. It's much more gentle and laid back and eases you into 'Mad Sounds,' A beautiful, slow, ballad-like, easy on the ears and catchy. 'Fireside' which features Bill Ryder-Jones rediscovers a rockier edge detailing Turner's doomed past encounters with a loved one. The second single, 'Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High' is another fantastic track. Nick O'Malley kills it on bass guitar with an addictive sound and punchy chorus. 'Snap Out Of It' is another standout track. This one is very catchy and instantly noticeable! From it's upbeat intro to relentless chorus. Sure to be a favourite on tour. Arctic Monkeys always have a tendancy to end things in an excellent manner and AM is no different. 'I Wanna Be Yours' is a seductive and stunning song originally by poet John Cooper Clarke but performed masterfully my the Monkeys gushing out some wonderful lyrics.

    'AM' is a career defining album from the best band around at the moment. It cements their legacy and ensures that they are unquestionably Britains greatest exports to date. They continue to improve and innovate producing some tremendous tunes and amazing albums. Alex Turner himself is a complete genius. Lyrically this is his finest hour! It is sublime songwriting of the highest degree. Simply the best lyricist of modern times and that's not an understatement. A masterpiece in it's entirety! Believe the hype!!
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  15. Feb 15, 2014
    9
    http://bit.ly/M276AL I never thought the Monkey's could top Suck It And See but they have done a lot more than that on AM. The talent of these four lads is on show on this record. Though what makes AM such an amazing record is how the outstanding songwriting uses this talent so well. I honestly can't wait to see where this band goes next.
  16. Nov 12, 2013
    9
    Arctic Monkeys grabbed my attention with their debut album, but as their other records came out they kind of started to lose me. I bought this on a complete whim and I was blown away. This one is solid from start to finish. The opening song, Do I Wanna Know, starts off the CD with a bang. It is probably my favorite on here. I have to say that this is my favorite from them so far, and my second favorite album of the year (only Paul McCartney ranks higher on my list). Expand
  17. Oct 15, 2013
    10
    A masterpiece. A work with truthful and deep creativity, the band shows a wide reach that surprised me. They made an album that transforms itself in an unexpected but astonishing way. A great turn point for the band.
  18. Sep 10, 2013
    10
    La evolución y madurez de la banda se hizo notoria en una obra maestra. Un álbum conceptual que te lleva sin aburrir desde el rock fuerte de R U Mine? hasta los rinconces melancólicos de I Wanna Be Yours o No. 1 Party Anthem. Genial uso de la voz y los falsetes, mejor uso del bajo. Puntos altísimos: Do I Wanna Know?, R U Mine?, No. 1 Party Anthem, Knee Socks.
  19. Sep 10, 2013
    9
    An album that oozes style, drips with lust, and suggests that the Arctic Monkeys have well and truly grown up. AM, while perhaps not creating such as big an impact as their debut, will inspire you to grab the hair grease and rock out until you're dizzy. Slick, stylish, and sensational.
  20. Sep 15, 2013
    9
    AM sees Arctic Monkeys take another step in their evolution that has been obvious since Favourite Worst Nightmare; and this time it's more daring than Suck It and See. The album successfully manages to combine the R&B influences which have been there from the start with the rock influences that inevitably come with being a guitar band. And this is never more evident than on Arabella, where R&B style verses culminate in a Black Sabbath-rocking chorus. Thematically, the album could be about a single girl that Alex Turner is lusting for. In fact, at time he seems rather desperate for her like on opener Do I Wanna Know? (ever thought of calling when you've had a few/'cos I always do). This theme continues throughout the album and is particularly evident on lyrical highlight of the album No. 1 Party Anthem, where the listener is taken to a scene in a dingy club ('sweat on the walls, cages and poles'). Other highlights include last years single R U Mine?, Arabella, Knee Socks and the John Cooper Clarke cover I Wanna Be Yours. Overall, AM seems evidence that Arctic Monkeys are the best thing in Britain right now, and one of the most interesting bands of the last decade. Expand
  21. Sep 17, 2013
    9
    Initially, I gave the album a 6, then after some more listens, an 8. Now I've got it bumped up to a 9. The album is simply fantastic and gets better with every listen. Every song makes me either want to dance or f*** or both. It's sexy and shows mastery for a band that is so young yet continues to churn out quality at a rate that is reminiscent of artists of the 70s and 80s.
  22. Sep 10, 2013
    9
    '[AM] is a great achievement: a cohesive mix of catchy tunes, slow-growers, ballads and booming riffs. 'AM' makes a case to be the best Arctic Monkeys album yet. Even if you decide that the case fails, it has definitely justified the specter of its hype. I highly recommend this album.

    Read the full review here:

    http://osianlewis.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/arctic-monkeys-am-review-did-sheffield.html

    I gave it an 8.5 but there are no half measures for metacritic user reviews so I've bumped it up to a 9.
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  23. Sep 16, 2013
    10
    Arctic Monkeys have been making albums for years, making music for more than a decade. Each album of theirs represents a different feel, all reflecting something distinctively English and bittersweet; even their more upbeat songs have something darker hidden subtly inside them.
    In recent years the boys have gone back to simple elegance; the cover art for Suck it And See was, well,
    unpopulated by anything more significant than a title, and last year’s single R U Mine? had nothing but the record on the jacket. The film clip, edited well to make it look like one constant shot, was put in black and white, and when Do I Wanna Know was released this year, the film clip was made almost entirely of simple cartoons in white on a black background, with the exception of some familiar random Arctic Monkeys-ness in Technicolour, like a fish and a car. When you look at it this way, the cover for AM is just another in a long line of craziness from the Sheffield natives.
    Every artist changes with the release of every new album, and these lads are no exception. But what is most surprising is how much they’ve matured with their music. Guitarist Jamie is married off, and drummer Matt is engaged to Black Treacle’s love interest, Breana McDow, while Alex Turner has transformed into a ’50s-villian with a slick quiff and a leather jacket. With this maturity comes a whole new sound, a whole new feel, a whole new Arctic Monkeys.
    AM is, very simply, very very different from Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not. Without any of their schoolboy charm, there’s less cheekiness and more sultry tones across all instruments. No song can be called ‘upbeat’ except maybe Firestarter; almost all of them are love songs.
    But with that said, there is something very special about this album. It’s that rare thing, a record that defies normal music adjectives like sweet or happy or eerie or sad. They’re still bittersweet, still lusty, but also lithe and suave and slinky and sexy and dark and intoxicating. If AM was a hairstyle, it would be messy. If AM was an item of clothing, it would be studded leather shorts. If AM were a photo, it’s of a girl with messy hair and studded leather shorts with her hands by her side, legs open, maybe mid-walk. No. 1 Party Anthem is the song playing in your head when you’re cleaning up the mess after a bash at your place the night before, or walking home after seeing someone you want kissing someone else. I Wanna Be Yours needs to be playing in a sex scene in a movie, like, now. It’s the album that’ll make you remember moments in nightclubs and mornings-after, the album that’ll make you, just for a second, love the evil cruelty of love and sex. It’s the best record yet from Arctic Monkeys, and possibly the best record released this year. Standout track? Knee Socks.
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  24. Sep 16, 2013
    9
    Good solid album. Catchy songs no matter what the pace. Personally they took the best parts of both of the previous albums and fused them together into a catchy masterpiece. 9/10
  25. Sep 17, 2013
    10
    This album is one of the most complete pieces of art I have ever heard. The band has clearly matured and taken their music to a new level, translating their signature youth rebellion spirit into something much deeper, transcendent, and ultimately collectively uplifting. Fireside is a hidden gem.
  26. Sep 24, 2013
    9
    Amazing, RnB/Hip Hop inspired indie album by a maturing band that can write and perform some great songs. I love Turner's voice and the cohesiveness of the group. The songs are top drawer, and this album has me going back for more. Such a great album. Try it out You won't be disappointed.
  27. Nov 6, 2013
    9
    I really like it. The Alex's voice is orgasmic! And just saying, but to me the 3 last songs are definitely the best! PS: the songs don't deserve the videos, could be betterin this point...
  28. Nov 11, 2013
    9
    Love this CD it is actually difficult, in my view, to discover a unique, hot, rock cd these days, although this one delivers in my view it is sensual and tough and hot, and I love it!
  29. Dec 27, 2013
    10
    Just amazing, one of the best 2013 albums, I have fallen in love with this band... definitely is a must. They deserved a grammy nomination, but probably this album is greater than a grammy award.
  30. Jan 20, 2014
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Best Arctic album I've ever heard. As a new fan, I like their newer songs/voices as the older Alex doesn't somehow appeal to me. AM is truly a sucess, with super catchy hits like ' Do I Wanna Know', which is my favorite track on the album. Since I do not like hard, metal, loud rock, indie rock is the best choice for me. R U Mine is also amazing. I could have rated it a 10 if Mad Sounds was exchanged with 505. That would make the best album ever. Great work Arctic Monkeys! -randomcritic Expand
  31. Apr 17, 2014
    10
    This album leaves me speechless, which is itself big deal. I lack words for describing it. At least adequate ones. So I am left with stream of consciousness.

    Mind blowing. All possible synonyms of amazing. Crazy. Subtle. Lobotomic. Evasive. Oscuro. Old-soul. Coherent. Wit. Sparkle. Sarcastic. Love. Sex. Nevertheless love. Hard. Low. Sultry. Drunk. Sleepy. Scary. Depressive. Ecstatic.
    Full of smoke. On fire. Insomnia. Exhilarated. Vodka with rocks. Masochistic. Kick in the gut.

    It's name is very well chosen. (When the zeros line up on the 24 hour clock Knee Socks) It feels exactly like coming home in 5 am. After one long, long sleepless night. Driving on a empty bus. When you are not jet completely sober, but all comes back to you. (The nights were mainly made for saying things that you can't say tomorrow day Do I Wanna Know?) And than even more. When you are exhausted from alcohol, but Sun rising doesn't allow you to sleep. That are our brightest moments. A-ha ones. When you realize that you still love that idiot, even though that leads you nowhere. When you realize that relationship you are in has date of expiry. (It's not like I'm falling in love I just want you to do me no good No.1 Party Anthem) When you realize he has moved on, and you haven't. When you realize that real relationship is not based on love itself or sex, rather that love and sex are based on something other. You just have to figure out what. This is an album that kept that quest essence of my generation.
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Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 36
  2. Negative: 0 out of 36
  1. Jan 27, 2014
    80
    AM continues a pattern, then: every couple of years, the Monkeys make a great album, sounding tighter and more telepathic with each release. [Oct 2013, p.97]
  2. Oct 4, 2013
    78
    AM's a heavy seduction, restless and all the better for it.
  3. 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.