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AM Image
Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 36 Critic Reviews What's this?

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8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 735 Ratings

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  • 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.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 36
  2. Negative: 0 out of 36
  1. 100
    Arctic Monkeys’ fifth record is absolutely and unarguably the most incredible album of their career. It might also be the greatest record of the last decade.
  2. 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.
  3. Sep 9, 2013
    86
    AM is a pitch black party record, full of menacing pop and grimy, indelible grooves drowned in bourbon.
  4. 80
    There is a depth--a willingness to experiment, a refusal to be pigeonholed--that rewards repeated listens and makes this their most coherent, most satisfying album since their debut. Where they go next is anybody's guess.
  5. Sep 10, 2013
    80
    With its multi-layered and complex music (incorporating many subgenres of rock and a great many styles in one cohesive whole), this is a great album for repeat listening, regardless of content.
  6. Oct 4, 2013
    78
    AM's a heavy seduction, restless and all the better for it.
  7. 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.

See all 36 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 80 out of 93
  2. Negative: 5 out of 93
  1. Apr 3, 2015
    10
    vou ser sincera nao gostei muito pois tem musicas muito rock n roll , nao gosto muito de rock n roll , eu so baixei o albúm pq o alex turner évou ser sincera nao gostei muito pois tem musicas muito rock n roll , nao gosto muito de rock n roll , eu so baixei o albúm pq o alex turner é gostoso pr crlh , e tmb pq gosto muito de arabella !! um 10 pra vc Expand
  2. 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''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
  3. 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! Expand
  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 inApart 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. Expand
  5. 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.” ItIt 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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  6. 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 theirPeople 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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  7. Oct 13, 2015
    0
    Poor and weak **** for hipsters and tumblr fans. I don't understand how could they make such a boring album. I can't remember any of thesePoor and weak **** for hipsters and tumblr fans. I don't understand how could they make such a boring album. I can't remember any of these songs. Maybe only two first singles - they were quite good but it's not the same Arctic Monkeys I liked. Expand

See all 93 User Reviews

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