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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 800 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: 89 out of 103
  2. Negative: 6 out of 103
  1. Dec 23, 2016
    10
    On the surface, AM can sound like your typical rock album with catchy hits and a few 'deeper' songs to balance things out. Arctic Monkeys areOn the surface, AM can sound like your typical rock album with catchy hits and a few 'deeper' songs to balance things out. Arctic Monkeys are not this band, and they did not make this album. Instead, what they made was a tribute to Rock N' Roll. They take us back to the period of music where rock was upbeat and sexy. They took us back to Elvis, and to the era of greased hair and leather jackets. The perceived simplicity of AM captures this perfectly, while still remaining fresh and original in the process.

    AM is the sort of capstone project which people will point to decades later to say "that's the moment that music changed". If these next few years see the rise in leather-clad crooners with a penchant for cigarettes and dark party hits, you'll know why. Arctic Monkeys has become the band that sets the standard for everyone else.

    But with this album, it's easy to focus solely on Alex Turner and forget that it's the music which makes the man. Matt Helders, in particular, shines on this album. R U Mine? has some of the most exciting drumming to grace the mainstream in years. The guitar solo in Arabella is irresistible. The bass is hot and heavy through the entire album, and this all culminates into one sound that is entirely cohesive.

    Finally, this review wouldn't be complete without touching on the lyricism of this album. If you are looking for the same lyrical stylings of Favourite Worst Nightmare, look elsewhere. But just because these lyrics feel different doesn't make them inherently BAD. A better word is 'deceptive'. Remember that this is a tribute album to the greats, who created relatively simple music in the lyrical sense but broke new ground musically. Alex Turner was not writing a Bob Dylan album, but rather, an Elvis album. And to do that, you have to rely on your words in different ways.

    What gives him away, however, is the cleverness of it all. When Turner says "simmer down and pucker up", he creates equal opposites - the same sort of literary device found in the most sophisticated poetry out there. When he sings "Forever isn't for everyone, is forever for you?", my English Lit-trained heart heaves a heavy sigh of pure joy. And the album is filled to the brim with lyrics like these; lyrics which sound simple but are infinitely more difficult to write than most of us can imagine.

    Even as Alex Turner croons in Arabella "take a sip of your soul and it sounds like", he invokes a sense and then Jamie Cook comes in to finish the thought. If you study poetry, you know just how intense these lyrics are, and just how impressive it is that Turner managed to show his ability while remaining true to the spirit of 50s rock.

    It's clear that AM reaches higher and travels further than any of its predecessors. What is unclear is how anyone could feel otherwise.
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  2. 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 transformsA 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. 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. May 2, 2014
    9
    I'm not a big fan of Indie Rock, but this band totally changed my opinion, I can't keep myself away form that replay button. It has someI'm not a big fan of Indie Rock, but this band totally changed my opinion, I can't keep myself away form that replay button. It has some classic fuzz wall around it. Expand
  5. Dec 28, 2013
    8
    I love the first single, and the album does not disappoint. Catchy and great hooks there. However, there are sounds that are bit repetitiveI 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. Expand
  6. Feb 20, 2014
    8
    Arctic Monkeys have returned from what was unfortunately their least amazing album (Suck It And See) with a follow up that could just be theirArctic Monkeys have returned from what was unfortunately their least amazing album (Suck It And See) with a follow up that could just be their best album since Favorite Worst Nightmare, possibly even, Whatever People Say I Am That's What I'm Not. AM has a couple of slow, plodding moments, but only on two tracks, the rest is generally, overwhelmingly good. Expand
  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 103 User Reviews

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