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
    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
  2. 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
  3. Nov 25, 2013
    8
    Since Humbug was dropped in 2009, Arctic Monkey' sound was never as it was like it was on their first two records. Since then, with Suck It & See and now AM, they've built on this psychedelic, 70's garage rock sound, & with this record they've officially mastered it. "Arabella" is a punchy track with Alex' clever wordplay, Sabbath like guitar riffs and a slick garage-y production. Also, a slight influence of hip-hop on this record.

    All In All, AM might be their second or third best record so far, but it's also an album of Los Angeles rock at it's finest. B+
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  4. 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.
  5. 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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  6. 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.
  7. Dec 20, 2013
    8
    People are claiming that this is the best the band has been since their debut, and I definitely agree with that, even though I love all their albums. My expectations immediately shot to the ceiling with “Do I Wanna Know?”. It found the band in an entirely new place, riding this slick slow-burning groove with great guitar work & a new-found vibe that's, for lack of a less corny term, sexy. If I had to describe this album in one word, it would be 'cool'. Every aspect, from the guitar riffs to the grooves to the vocal delivery, has this attitude-filled charm to it that's just irresistible. It seems like this time around, Alex has basically embraced his coolness, rather than being somewhat tongue-in-cheek & ironic about it like he did on past albums, only emphasized by the rock-n-roll-badass style/image he's adopted lately. Of course this implies that AM has its own “sound” within the band's discography, but there are still comparisons to past albums to be made. For example the songs that fit this style I'm talking about the most sound to me like what would happen if Humbug walked into a smokey bar full of greasers in the 50's. Then the first 2 albums follow him in & we get “R U Mine?” & “I Want It All”, a pair of raw infectious riff-rockers. But there are also moments that are entirely new territory, like downbeat ballads “No. 1 Party Anthem” & “Mad Sounds”. Some new instrumental & compositional ground are covered too, like in the acoustic guitars & busy tom-heavy drumming on “Fireside”, or the on-beat piano chords in “Snap Out of It”. I was partially afraid going in that this album would be nice to listen to but kinda blend from track to track without much changing up, but thanks to songs like these it never gets dull for me.

    The lyrics on this album are worth noting too, though not quite as much. At first it just kinda sounded like run-of-the-mill breakup lyrics. But then I started to pick up a vague storyline, which followed the fallout of a messy relationship in the first third, then the narrator slipping into sadness about it while listening to music at the bar in the second third, then him drunkenly attempting to get the girl back through phone calls in the last third. Maybe I'm reading into it too much but that's my interpretation. There are 2 things about this that interested me. First, I love that despite AM's smooth feel musically/sonically, Alex (the main songwriter) didn't try desperately to match that in his lyrics through sex talk, which was another minor worry I had going in. And it says a lot that he's able to still come off likeable in the last third, where he plays the pathetically bitter & jealous ex, is really to be attributed to how extremely well-written & chock full of great imagery the lyrics are. As for any gripes, there are really only 2 I can think of. The more nitpicky one is that the guitar part in the chorus of “Arabella” is almost an exact copy of Bad Company's “Feel Like Makin Love”, and that can get a bit distracting to me. But the bigger one is that the last track “I Wanna Be Yours” just kind of annoys me. It's fine musically as a closer be the lyrics consist of awful pickup lines that feel like leftovers from Weird Al's “Wanna B Ur Lovr” that were rejected for barely not being so-bad-it's-good enough.

    Overall, I really loved AM. I'm curious to see where Arctic Monkeys will go sound-wise for their next album. And when you've got people already thinking about that positively, you gotta be doing something right.

    Top 5 tracks: Do I Wanna Know?, Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High?, R U Mine?, Snap Out of It, I Want It All
    Score: 86/100
    (Longer review can be found on my Facebook page "That Non-Elitist Music Fan".)
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  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 10, 2013
    7
    Arctic Monkeys have definitely taken a turn with this release and with the wild success of singles 'R U Mine' and 'Don't You Wanna Know', high expectations were held for AM. Unfortunatley the rest of the album does not live up to the two leading singles. Twelve dark tales of desire and yearning, AM is a sleezy night out with the boys, where they sing about hooking up and closing more than they actually do in real life. Turner's lyrics are, as always, superb. They swap full on lead rock for heavy riffs and sick basslines. But something about it feels unfinished. With only half the songs being masterpieces, this is no 'Suck It And See'. But it's listenable and contains some fine, fine singles. At least two fine, fine singles. Keen to see where they go after here, but don't predict wild success with this album. Expand
  10. 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
  11. 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.
  12. Nov 16, 2013
    8
    This is a very interesting album for me. I loved the R&B influence combined with the indie rock in this album especially in "Do I Wanna Know" which the guitar riff remained in my head for weeks on weeks... Overall, I loved the album but I do understand that their previous audience may have been lost because this is such a change in sound where it is a bit softer and safer than their previous records. Expand
  13. 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.
  14. Jan 8, 2014
    5
    They are trying very hard to sound american and like Queens of Stone Age, I can even picture a producer trying to hire someone to dress Turner with one of that american retro tshirts. The magic that attracted me to Arctic Monkeys isn't there anymore.
  15. Feb 12, 2014
    7
    [7.8] AM is not a bad album at all, but its criticism perfectly understandable. It is not a very exciting album, something which a band that maybe either of their first two LP's should be able to pull off easily. It is however, the sleekest, sexiest, and probably the smoothest album of 2013. While it doesn't achieve what Arctic Monkeys used to, it's easy to listen to, and easy to enjoy. I won't commend this album for incorporating R&B music brilliantly, because that's not what I think about when I listen to it. I think about a generally good album, for which I can understand praise, and for which I can understand criticism. Nonetheless, I enjoyed it a good bit. Expand
  16. Oct 15, 2013
    3
    A fairly boring and lifeless album. Nothing to really latch onto. I honestly never thought I would call the Arctic Monkeys boring. The more "rock" songs on this album are the biggest disappointments (another shocker). With the exception of R U Mine they feel very dull (although that could be because Do I Wanna Know and Arabella feel as though they were stamped out of the R U Mine template without any of the excitement). Even the softer more ballad orientated songs fail to deliver anything memorable. 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. Jan 16, 2014
    8
    I wouldn't say this is their best work, as the NME said, but some songs really stand out (while others, namely I Want It All, are just horrendous) and Alex Turner changes voice and looks again to go along the Monkeys' new style - more glamourous, sexier and more "mature", whatever than means.

    You need two or three listens to get it in your system, then it's very good. Especially, listen
    to "No. 1 Party Anthem" about stripclubs, and "Knee Socks" with Josh Homme, who is so much better on other people's records than on his own. Expand
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. Sep 10, 2013
    7
    The Arctic Monkeys continue to dip their spoon in a cup of nostalgia, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The sounds here are more controlled than previous efforts, very controlled in fact. The hooks catchy, Not jumpy, no rough spots. AM is a smooth experience and it’s a good time nevertheless.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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
  26. 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.
  27. 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!
  28. 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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  29. 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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  30. Sep 11, 2013
    8
    It does not seem that long ago since everyone was rocking out 2006 with the Arctic Monkeys’ hit “I Bet You Look Good On The Dance Floor.” It would have been easy for the Sheffield, England band to stay the course over the last seven years but with each album since their debut, Whatever People Say I Am That’s What I’m Not (2006), the group has taken progressive steps towards a different sound. It really started when Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age) produced Humbug (2009) and the Arctic Monkeys came off way more serious and interested in tempo and song structures. The result for me was their weakest record to date but without it, their new long player, AM, would not exist.

    As their last LP, Suck It and See (2011), proved the band did not need some big stand out single to succeed. The songwriting, rhythms and confidence helped Suck It sound fresh and give Arctic Monkeys a renewal on their musical life. All of this development has now landed the Artic Monkeys in 2013 with a very rewarding record in AM. It is an album that I will warn right away that it is not like their first two and keeps most of the tracks at a very steady mid-tempo beat.

    If you are still reading this review after that warning great! I say that because AM is a record that will challenge your every sense of what you think the Artic Monkeys should be doing these days. Things start with the deep rock blues groove on the opening “Do I Wanna Know?” which will instantly have you thinking Black Keys. The swaying track features singer Alex Turner in full control delivering the verses as the whispering harmonies in the supporting background will have your foot tapping along in no time. The catchy upbeat wordplay in “R U Mine?” will quickly grab you, as the song once again features this grooving strong guitar structure that gives the album its strength. This prominent big rock backdrop runs throughout AM but is extremely prominent on “Arabella.” The track has several recognizable guitar licks behind the scenes that include Sabbath’s “War Pig” and Mötley Crüe’s “Shout at the Devil.” They are subtle but the song resemblances are there and never distract from the new song because the pulsing rock continues as Turner once again rapid fires back n forth with the band vocally.

    Some of this sound should be credited to producer James Ford as he is already responsible for three other Monkeys records but maybe even more from the mixing of Tchad Blake. Blake mixed the last several Black Keys’ records and you can hear the influence on this album. AM also finds guest appearances from Queens of the Stone Age’s Josh Homme, Elvis Costello’s drummer Pete Thomas and ex-Coral man Bill Ryder-Jones. The guests are a nice addition and blend in well with the project. It is a good balance of not standing out too much but also being careful not to hinder the album’s flow.

    AM’s only small drawback for me is that its tone and tempo all hit around the same area and just a little more diversity in range would have went a long way for me. AM really is never too low and never too high. With that said, there is plenty to like as the group infuses a stylistic R&B and bluesy rock into their unique indie sound. This makes for tracks that you can’t get out of your head quickly and regardless of why you hit repeat you just do! AM is a record to sit with and give multiple spins before passing judgment because it not only gets more catchy with each spin but you discover new things in the mix. I think AM is better than the Arctic Monkeys last two records and will find its way into my best of list at the end of the year as its darker songs about drugs, lust and isolation somehow, someway, still make a very bright listen that I can’t turn off!
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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.