AM - Arctic Monkeys
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 385 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 15 out of 385

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  1. Sep 10, 2013
    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. Oct 22, 2013
    A generic, typically terrible arctic monkeys release that unsurprisingly fails in any sort of attempt at innovation. Sadly, it will sell by the truckload.
  3. Sep 11, 2013
    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.
  4. Sep 26, 2013
    Not the worst album I have heard but definitely not The Arctic's best. Half the album is great, half is forgettable. Not as bad as Humbug, which lacked real focus and direction. AM sounds like a sleezy night out, coming home in the blurry morning without having pulled any girls. Looking forward to their next offering.
  5. Sep 14, 2013
    Some very catchy tunes, but a lack of hooks. After track 5 the album gets bogged down in it's 60s revivalism and becomes self-indulgent. It's still good music, but just not quite as good as I would have liked.
  6. Sep 10, 2013
    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. Collapse
  7. Sep 10, 2013
    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
  8. Sep 10, 2013
    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.
  9. Oct 15, 2013
    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
  10. Sep 13, 2013
    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.
  11. Sep 15, 2013
    The first three singles had gotten me excited about this record, but as it turned out, they are the only really good songs in this album, with an exception perhaps for One for The Road. No. 1 Party Anthem and Mad Sounds don't do as much half as good in reviving the 60's-70's as Suck It and See did, hence making up the most tedious section of this record. Arabella and Knee Socks are somewhat decent I should note the latter's got a catchy riff, though its use of falsettos gets repetitive overtime but the rest of the album just simply and sadly fails to synchronise with what I've come to love about the Arctic Monkeys. It may still find its way into my heart, but as far as I've listened to it (4 times front to back), it's my least favourite Arctic Monkeys' album; several times I found asking myself if it was really Arctic Monkeys who recorded that or just some pop American band. Expand
  12. Sep 17, 2013
    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
  13. Nov 18, 2013
    Call me critical but this album brings nothing new to the table.
    Being a longtime arctic monkeys fan, I was incredibly disappointed with this album. The fun, energetic and frantic sounds of previous arctic monkeys albums was merely thrown aside when this album was made.
    The sounds that made them so popular in the past were no where in sight in this LP.
    In small doses, perhaps when
    listening to two or three songs in a row, the songs are quite interesting. R U Mine? Being my favourite as it is closest to arctic monkeys hit song formula- being very riff driven and with a hard hitting beat to bring the song home.

    It often feels like vocals drone on. Complaining about women troubles and what not. With very disinterested vocals, easy beats, whinging lyrics and slow boring riffs, this album almost embarrasses it's fun having predecessors.

    Slow songs from a band like arctic monkeys are often gems when they stand alone in a record, but as this features nothing but, it's hard to see what it does for me to enjoy it.
    A regression in instrumentation, vocals and compelling, cheeky lyrics, this album is best left on the shelf. What once made arctic monkeys such a unique and fun band looks to be disregarded.

  14. Sep 17, 2013
    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
  15. Nov 26, 2013
    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
  16. Sep 14, 2013
    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.
  17. Sep 15, 2013
    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.
  18. Sep 10, 2013
    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.
  19. Sep 13, 2013
    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.
  20. Sep 11, 2013
    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!
  21. Sep 18, 2013
    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
  22. Sep 24, 2013
    A very highly overrated album. people are now being sucked in by the name of the band who make the album and cannot see that it is basically a long drawn out bore fest. sure there are some catchy riffs but all the catchy riffs are only catchy because they are repeated over and over and over and over again. Not the worst album but certainly not the masterpiece most people think it is
  23. Oct 3, 2013
    This is is just not as worse as suck it and see. The album depends too much of the first too songs, the rest is all boring musics. Note 3 for the first two and arabella.
  24. Oct 23, 2013
    With this loss of rough, dirty hooks and punk attributes, the Monkeys have crafted something else with a very experimental blend of neo psychedelic, blues rock and garage rock mixed with hip-hop beats, the new Monkeys' sound becomes something, not reminiscent of their old selves but still quite interesting. Although AM did have very bright spots and sweet catchy, hook driven tunes, there is still something missing from the Monkeys' sound evident from the tame, soft and translucent weak tracks. The Monkeys need to revisit the past artistically and stylistically if they want to keep their fans interested in order to progress into their own musical future, one where they're still "the young Northern England clubbers" that we all know and love. Snap Out Of It guys.

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  25. Dec 28, 2013
    I love the first single, and the album does not disappoint. Catchy and great hooks there. However, there are sounds that are bit repetitive for me personally.
  26. Jul 25, 2014
    The most pre-fabircated commercial **** i've ever listened. Instead of Arctic Monkeys I would call them Daniel Day Lewis Monkeys because their music is as awful as Daniel's performances.
  27. Nov 25, 2013
    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+
  28. Jan 12, 2014
    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.
  29. Oct 25, 2013
    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!!
  30. Feb 15, 2014
    9 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.

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
    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
    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.