Arctic Monkeys
AM


4.3
superb

Review

by Joseph Viney STAFF
September 19th, 2013 | 454 replies


Release Date: 09/06/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Rise and shine

Ever since the Arctic Monkeys made themselves known in 2005, one could be forgiven for viewing them with parentally-tinged spectacles. Part of their initial charm was seeing these sensitive but no less cynical lads be thrown into the spotlight and still come out swinging. It’s the same kind of pride that makes a mother weep when her children fly the nest. Or that might be tears of joy. That’s family business, I won’t pry.

In recent years Arctic Monkeys have swapped the post-industrial landscapes of Sheffield for the sunnier climes of Los Angeles, a city that spins a surreal web to outsiders; where Hollywood myths perpetuate and gangs of the plastic and insincere air-kiss their way into oblivion.

Indeed, it is a sense of oblivion that is at times captured on AM. The album’s three promo tracks, “Do I Wanna Know?”, “R U Mine?” and “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?” (which proves, if anything, that Alex Turner likes to ask a lot of questions) lay some deep, drunken and chemically-enhanced questions on the listener. Each song is replete with a brooding menace which shows a certain sense of individual maturity, just the ‘wrong’ one; the bad love, drug-laden one we all really crave.

For all of its alleged faults, their third LP Humbug has shown itself to be an important part of their transition in sound. The group have evidently learnt a lot from their new step-father, Josh Homme. Be it in the harmonised backing vocals on “One For The Road”, the dash of “War Pigs” on the bridge of “Arabella” or on the addictive stomp and cosmic solo on I Want It All. The Stones-referencing “…2000 light years from home” line that segues into the solo is nothing short of magic.

…but it wouldn’t be an Arctic Monkeys record without some down-at-home references to the rat race they left behind at home. There can’t be that many Thunderbirds’ references knocking around in music at the moment, but the Tracey Island mention on “R U Mine?” can’t pass without a wry smile.

Similarly, “One For The Road” and its talk of ‘relegation zones’ and “I Wanna Be Yours’” double-whammy of ‘leccy meters’ and ‘Ford Cortina’ provide evidence of a band and lyricist who…*cliché klaxon*…haven’t forgotten their roots.

As such AM is a very keen and well-referenced document in what being an international super-band means in this day and age; a scattergun mix of the best of both worlds. Moments of sarcasm contained therein with “No. 1 Party Anthem” (which it isn’t) and “Mad Sounds” (which, in reality, contains none) is just the icing on the cake for an album that both delivers and promises in great amounts.



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user ratings (796)
Chart.
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
mryrtmrnfoxxxy
September 19th 2013


13403 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

now i wanna give this another shot

Digging: The Smith Street Band - Throw Me In The River

IAMERROR
September 19th 2013


219 Comments


Does this sound anything like Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not?

MaskAtTheMasquerade
September 19th 2013


2888 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

nah, its kinda a mix between humbug and suck it and see i think? but really cool. found it boring at first but its grown a lot since

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
September 19th 2013


10359 Comments


Stellar review, bud. I may just have to give this one a spin if it really is this good!

On another note, I enjoyed their latest album the most, at least on the first listen. Would you say this is a similar style to that?

bloc
September 19th 2013


35004 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Album kind of wore off me, had to drop it down 0.5 points.

I can't fathom how one would think this even comes close to the band's first three albums though.

Digging: The Birthday Massacre - Superstition

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
September 19th 2013


10359 Comments


If Bloc kind of digs this one, what does that even mean for me? Considering our tastes are always opposite, I cannot even fathom.

FourthReich
September 19th 2013


18058 Comments


who the hell is joseph viney?

Digging: Hail Mary Mallon - Bestiary

bloc
September 19th 2013


35004 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Haha, Om, you'll just have to listen and see

Green Baron
September 19th 2013


20240 Comments


seems like a pretty good album, probably will check out soon

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
September 19th 2013


10359 Comments


Never have I been referred to via Greek letter. I don't dislike it.

bloc
September 19th 2013


35004 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Well get used to it! Can't be bothered to write the full thing out. You'll notice I do that with everyone.

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
September 19th 2013


2719 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

bah, Humbug.

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
September 19th 2013


2719 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

If not Om, why not http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uuN7kOW7iwo ?

Bandido
September 19th 2013


816 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice review. Enjoyable album, but I can feel it wearing off.

Also, as much as I love the Monkeys, six reviews for this album is probably enough

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
September 19th 2013


4453 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

Excellent review. This is a good album indeed, it took me a while to get used to the r&b-meets-desert rock style, but the album's catchiness grew to be infectious after a while.

Still a little disappointed that they didnt keep their word on making the heavier album they initially promised.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
September 19th 2013


7318 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3

There can’t be that many Thunderbirds’ references knocking around in music at the moment, but the Tracey Island mention on “R U Mine?” can’t pass without a wry smile.

Insta-pos.

Digging: Portishead - Dummy

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
September 19th 2013


23970 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

JViney kickin ass, takin names, shiiiiiit.

Digging: Taylor Swift - 1989

klap
Staff Reviewer
September 20th 2013


10545 Comments


digging this

Digging: Jessie Ware - Tough Love

dathvada321
September 20th 2013


1444 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

album is pretty solid, but not that amazing

Digging: Circa Survive - Descensus

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
September 20th 2013


6505 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This reviews reads suspiciously similar to your Suck It And See one, I must say.

Terrific record, might be my favorite of the year so far.

Digging: Recondite - Iffy



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