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Album Review

If Arctic Monkeys launched a tentative retreat on Suck It & See, their first effort after being seduced by Josh Homme, the group once again forge ahead into bold new territory on AM, their fifth album. Neatly splitting the difference between the band's two personalities — the devotees of barbed British pop and disciples of curdled heavy rock — AM consolidates Arctic Monkeys strengths, a tricky task in and of itself, but the band pushes further, incorporating unapologetic glam stomps, fuzzy guitars, and a decidedly strong rhythmic undercurrent. At times, AM pulses to a distinctly danceable rhythm — "Fireplace" percolates while "Why Do You Only Call Me When You're High" simmers and "Knee Socks" nearly rivals Franz Ferdinand in disco rock — but this isn't an album made for nights out; it's a soundtrack for nights in. Too much of Alex Turner's mind is preoccupied with love gone wrong, jealousy, and general misanthropy, so even when he's singing about a "No. 1 Party Anthem," he's doing so with a nearly visible sneer. Such an undercurrent of cynicism makes AM an ideal album to listen to under the cover of darkness, but due to the Arctic Monkeys' muscular wallop and musical restlessness, it never feels like the band is wallowing in bleakness. Instead, this is vibrant, moody music that showcases a band growing ever stronger with each risk and dare they take.

Customer Reviews

Perfection

Alex Turner is a god. So are Nick, Matt and Jamie. So yeah, they're all gods.

A new level

I have always been an Arctic Monkeys fan and this is a whole new brand of awesome, 5 stars

A Masterpiece

I've listened to "AM" several times through now, and when you experience it you'll understand perfectly why the title is the band initials. The entire band did a fantastic job writing the music, with each member exhibiting their master musicianship by inventive and artful composing. Alex Turner provides further evidence that he is one of the greatest lyricists of his generation. It's safe to say that the ever-evolving, ever-impressing Arctic Monkeys have done it again. This fifth record is some of the best 41 minutes you can spend listening to music. Thanks Arctic Monkeys!

While each track is brilliant, if you're going to purchase individual songs and would like an opinion, my personal top 5 favorites are: "No. 1 Party Anthem", "Arabella", "Knee Socks", "I Wanna Be Yours", "Mad Sounds".

Biography

Formed: 2003 in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

By distilling the sounds of Franz Ferdinand, the Clash, the Strokes, and the Libertines into a hybrid of swaggering indie rock and danceable neo-punk, Arctic Monkeys became one of the U.K.'s biggest bands of the new millennium. Their meteoric rise began in 2005, when the teenagers fielded offers from major labels and drew a sold-out crowd to the London Astoria, using little more than a self-released EP as bait. Several months later, Whatever People Say I Am, That's What...
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AM, Arctic Monkeys
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