Arctic Monkeys’ fifth record is absolutely and unarguably the most incredible album of their career. It might also be the greatest record of the last decade.
Ultimately, AM is the latest jewel in a crown that will continue to increase in value for a long time to come. It is flawless, and a true ascendance from boys to men.
The bitterness of these lyrics doesn’t bleed over into the music, thankfully. There, the Monkeys still sound as punchy and fiery as ever; they’ve just embraced a glammed-out rock sound that is as surprisingly comfortable as Turner’s slicked back ’do.
Led by Alex Turner’s cocksure vocals, AM mixes Velvet Underground melodies, Black Sabbath riffs, and playful grooves, and has fun doing it.
While the embryonic Monkeys were one of the most important acts around, all grown up they're Britain's best rock 'n roll band. 'AM' leaves nothing to debate.
Where ‘Suck It And See’ was crooned and swoonsome, ‘AM’ takes cooler cues from the band’s lives in California, tinged with the grooves of Dr Dre and West Coast hip-hop.
While the days of the indie dancefloor hits from their first two records may be long gone, the Arctic Monkeys we’re left with now are undoubtedly at the top of their game.
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.
Arctic Monkeys started out as teens with sharp eyes and deep-seated cynicism reserved for those twice their age; they’ve evolved into one of the most interesting, enduring bands of the past decade.
The entire album, from first impressions, is near-perfect. Whether we'll still think so after a month, a year, the band's sixth record, a decade, remains to be seen. But for now, this is one of the best albums of the year.
They’ve evolved certain factors of their sound and ventured into new territory, but AM is not so much a change of direction as it is an affirmation of all the musical elements that made the band exhilarating to begin with – inspired lyrics, screeching riffs and great melodies.
Although it doesn’t always measure up to its ambitions ... AM is easily Arctic Monkeys’ most realized record, and one that will further bridge the gaps for a band that began as bards for scruffy street tales.
Whether conceptual or not, Arctic Monkeys’ fifth LP is a wonderfully cohesive and diverse album that fits together incredibly well.
As they've gone from spastic punk, to doomed stoner rock, to sparkling guitar pop, to this new album's skinny-jeaned funk, Arctic Monkeys have stayed close to the spirit of their debut's title while minimizing its excess at the same time.
This is vibrant, moody music that showcases a band growing ever stronger with each risk and dare they take.
The gradual move from spit-and-sawdust indie pop to a broader palette – a fuller sound – is a smart one.
Their fifth album possesses enough sexual dynamism to choke a horse. Combined with their Glastonbury-headlining swagger and exceptional musicianship, it makes for a dynamite LP and a reminder of why sex and rock ’n’ roll became linked in the first place.
Almost a decade into their career, the Arctic Monkeys have aged gracefully into their precociously world-weary image with a mature album about immaturity, a carefully written and produced effort about the desultory careen of youth. Wh
All of these stylistic inspirations make ‘AM’ an invigorating experience. It continues the band’s playful diversion from the Mojave-darkness of ‘Humbug’ that ‘Suck It And See’ heralded.
This fifth ... manages to connect those different directions – the muscular riffs of Humbug and the wistful pop of Suck It and See – with the bristling energy and sense of fun that propelled their initial recordings.
AM ... feels a considerably more self-assured album: heavy in a dramatic and confident way, conceptually strong, and not without groove.
This is exciting, audacious work from a band once again on the edge of a new future.
While it might not be the masterpiece some people are looking for from this band, it is nevertheless a more than worthy addition to their canon.
This is a transitional record, it's true: Turner's keen lyrical skills have outpaced the band's musical development, and the ultimate role of guitars (which aren't crucial here) has yet to be determined. But if you want expertly creeping unease, dive in.
Their music is suddenly sexier, no doubt a credit to Turner’s vision for AM, and continues to mature.
The Monkeys keep on evolving ... their fifth LP is this quintessentially English retro-rock band's most American-sounding record, especially rhythmically.
If not a total revelation, it’s another periodic reminder of just how arresting a playful songwriter and a well-schooled rock band can sound together.
It's impossible to compare today's Arctic Monkeys with its original incarnation. That was a band hungry for success. This one is starting to get a bit bloated.
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