Arctic Monkeys

AM

Written by: JWM on 11/10/2013 16:37:08

Arctic Monkeys are one of those rock bands that really know how to write a single or two - they're good song writers there is no denying that. But if there is another thing that they are it's that they are smart enough to not play out the same style until people lose interest. Case and point: The band's third album "Humbug" was an example of every rock band's early career: The fan-dividing album. Then you have the follow up, 2011's "Suck It And See", a fusion of Kasabian-esque psychedelia and Oasis inspired simplicity put into a blender with their own back catalogue. But with this constant and self-aware evolution how could the apparently hip-hop influenced album "AM" sound?

As the foot stomps, hand claps and slow tempo hard rock attitude of "Do I Wanna Know?" create the atmosphere of a grand introduction for "AM", you can tell that they have very little to do with the post-punk revival style they came in swinging with in the early 2000s. It comes in with a nice build up and is the kind of sound you expect from a band this big. "R U Mine?" calls back to the neo-psychedelia of "Suck It And See" in the form of a great single and the final product is a fun sing along with a guitar riff that will weld onto your brain for quite some time.

The first two songs, tragically, prove to be the most gripping songs on this album. The rest of the album never gets faster than the later, and contains far too much of the build up of the former. "Arabella" throws in vintage sounds as it transitions into a full-fledged traditional heavy metal song. "No. 1 Party Anthem" is- in very obvious irony- a song with the least party vibe in the album, however would bode well as part of a depressing party scene in a Skins episode or some related British university drama. Clever desert rock song "Fireside" is guided by lyrics of lost love and the simple but effective bassist Nick O'Malley chants in a falsetto style "Should I? Should I?". "Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High?" is perhaps the most disappointing single of their career being a mellow product of all of this album's influences.

The problem that this album suffers from, quite frankly, is that it's quite boring for Arctic Monkeys. "AM" incorporates a lot of different influences from older styles to try and craft a new standard for the band, but I feel in the process the band has forgotten the base template that's made Arctic Monkeys songs; indie rock with a punk rock bite. And by 'hip-hop' influence did they mean boring and repetitive drumming through-out the album? I'm no drumming expert but it still feels quite uninspired. It's one thing to take elements of other bands to texture your own sound (i.e. "Suck It And See") but to be a carbon copy of several influences and forming a mellow final piece is a disappointment for a band as big as this.

5

Download: Do I Wanna Know?; R U Mine?; Arabella; Fireside
For The Fans Of: Kasabian; The Vaccines; Led Zeppelin
Listen: Arctic Monkey's facebook

Release Date: 06.09.2013
Domino

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