“AM” – Arctic Monkeys

Released September 6th 2013

By Grace Hardman

It is difficult not to be seduced by the testosterone-fuelled record that is the Arctic Monkey’s new masterpiece. Sceptics beware: it won’t be long until Alex Turner has your heart racing and your hand reaching for your phone and for your 4am booty call, as in “Why do you only call me when you’re high?” Yes, it’s sleazy and lazy and slightly uncomfortable, but what would the Arctic Monkeys be without a bit of controversy?

It’s been said that the album contains essence of RnB and 1970s rock ‘n roll, which on paper sounds alarming, but is executed so seamlessly that it almost escapes your notice. Not that the falsetto of Josh Homme, which could easily find itself on a Frank Ocean record, doesn’t demand to be heard in “Knee Socks”. The Californian guitars are most prominent on the single that originally bridged the gap from Suck it and See, “R U Mine?” and secondly that guitar solo in “Arabella”. Turner cites the latter as AM’s cornerstone; where opposing genres combine to create a supernova of lust for his Mexican-Coke-drinking muse.

Yet what many reviews fail to notice is the record’s unarguable connection to the Beatles, which is screamingly obvious in the slow burning smoulder of “No. 1 Party Anthem”. It contains the same surrealism of Lennon’s later work and appears to be a hangover from the 1960s-inspired The Last of the Shadow Puppets project. Unsurprisingly, this is by far my favourite.

The only disappointment is the closing track, “I Wanna be Yours”. Turner, the great lyricist who wrote such gems as “Have you no idea that you’re in deep? I’ve dreamt about you nearly every night this week”, fails to impress here and creates a song that sounds frustratingly try-hard. “Stop the World I Wanna Get off with You” should have been the climatic finish to this otherwise 41 minutes and 48 seconds of perfection.

But come on, it isn’t the bands 5th consecutive number one album for nothing.

Download – “Do I Wanna Know”/ “No. 1 Party Anthem”/ “Arabella

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