- Summary: Produced by James Ford and Ross Orton, the fifth full-length studio release for the indie rock band includes guest appearances by Josh Homme, Bill Ryder-Jones, and Pete Thomas.
- Record Label: Domino
- Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
- More Details and Credits »
Sep 25, 2013In 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.
Sep 17, 2013This 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.… Expand
Nov 26, 2013These 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
Dec 20, 2013People 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
(Longer review can be found on my Facebook page "That Non-Elitist Music Fan".)… Expand
Oct 23, 2013With 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.
Follow @PRTYNTGRVS for more music reviews!… Expand
Published: December 4, 2013Throughout the coming weeks, we'll be collecting year-end top 10 album lists from dozens of music critics, publications, record stores, and other sources. Find individual lists and this year's cumulative rankings inside.
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