Waking Up To The Arctic Monkeys

alex-turnerAlbum Review:

The Arctic Monkeys- AM

I’ve gotta say- I’m feeling a little flustered. Actually, if I were wearing a collar, I’d definitely be hot under it! You see, I’ve just finished listening to the Artic Monkey’s latest album- AM. It’s quite possibly the most anticipated album of the year for me, with each single managing to monopolise my home stereo and force me to shimmy the volume to full on more than one occasion. I have to say, the wait was worth it. I sometimes find that the released singles are all an album has got going for it when it finally sees the light of day. But that’s definitely not the case with AM… It got my heart beating like there was danger lurking behind every shadow, but a delicious type of danger, like dating a guy that you know is going to break your heart. The entire album drips with this sinister energy and it makes for compulsive listening.

Amazingly, it’s only been 7 years since this English  indie-rock 4-piece released their debut chart topper- Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not. Since then, there have been 3 more albums (Favourite Worst Nightmare, Humbug & Suck it and See), with AM making it album #5. Each album has offered a unique sound and musical progression for the band, from the early frenetic-paced garage-rock hits such as I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor to the psychedelic undertones of Crying Lightening and the retro-swagger of The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala. AM is definitely a coming of age album, offering a sound reminiscent of Dan Auerbach / Black Keys mixed with a good dollop of Queens of the Stone Age (Josh Homme even makes a guest appearance on one of the songs), a touch of seventies Black Sabbath and a smattering of John Lennon on the slower tracks such as No. 1 Party Anthem. According to frontman Alex Turner, “It sounds like a Dr Dre beat, but we’ve given it an Ike Turner bowl-cut and sent it galloping across the desert on a Stratocaster.”

My favourite tracks are undoubtedly #2- R U Mine, which makes me want to slow dance in my cowboy boots and dark glasses in a smoke-filled bar;  #6 No. 1 Party Anthem which fills me with  an overwhelming desire for the arrival of summertime, and #9 Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High, whose lyrics and video-clip offer an uncanny reflection of my younger years.

Whilst the songs can be readily enjoyed on their own, it comes across to me as an album that was made to listen to from start to finish, with a sublime mix of swarthy, brooding ballads and softer, poetic pieces allowing you to occasionally come up for air.  The album will be officially released on 10th September, but you can currently preview the album in its entirety by streaming it through iTunes. Let me know what you think!

3 Comments on “Waking Up To The Arctic Monkeys

  1. Hey there, I stumbled across your blog the other day while trawling the interwebs for music sites (fellow music obsessive right here!); just wanted to say I’ve really been enjoying your writing. You may have convinced me to get this new AM album (I’ve got Humbug, which I really like, but Suck It And See kind of passed me by).

    • Hi Brett- Glad you are enjoying the blog! Definitely get on and give AM a listen (you can stream it through your favourite online music service now to give it a test run). Most albums take a few listens for them to grow on me, but this one appealed immediately. I’m hoping the commercial radio stations don’t pick it up too quickly and ruin that appeal for me!!