Arctic Monkeys - AM
Critic Score
Based on 43 reviews
2013 Ratings: #69 / 1115
Year End Rank: #9
User Score
2013 Rank: #391
Liked by 660 people
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CRITIC REVIEWS

100
Evening Standard

AM is a masterpiece of heavy pop, with thumping drums, insistent bass and guitars soaked in San Francisco metal.

100
AllMusic

This is vibrant, moody music that showcases a band growing ever stronger with each risk and dare they take.

100
NME

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.

100
No Ripcord

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.

92
Paste

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.

91
Entertainment Weekly

Led by Alex Turner’s cocksure vocals, AM mixes Velvet Underground melodies, Black Sabbath riffs, and playful grooves, and has fun doing it.

90
musicOMH

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.

90
God Is in the TV
Five albums in, they are still sounding fresh and whilst they never lacked for confidence on their début, they continue to ascend. Respect.
90
DIY

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.

90
The Fly

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.

86
Sputnikmusic

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.

86
Beats Per Minute

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.

85
The 405

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.

83
Pretty Much Amazing

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. 

83
A.V. Club

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.

80
Gigwise

It's a bloody great album that's lightyears ahead of all of their post-Libertine indie peers, it just doesn't feel brave enough for a band with so much bravado.

80
The Observer

While AM isn't the decade-defining classic some are proclaiming, it is never less than fascinating.

80
The Telegraph
Each song carves out its own space, from forlorn romantic ballads to glam party stomps, but the band always sounds like the same mischievous unit.
80
Spectrum Culture

Some of the early accolades may have been premature, but with AM there’s little room to deny that Arctic Monkeys have evolved.

80
The Independent

AM issues lubricious R&B; come-ons over a self-assured narrative arc with personality and open potential cannily spliced.

80
PopMatters

Whether conceptual or not, Arctic Monkeys’ fifth LP is a wonderfully cohesive and diverse album that fits together incredibly well.

80
Crack Magazine

AM, their fifth record, is an album of polar opposites, a dichotomy of thematic and geographical elements distilled and refined by Alex Turner's punk spirited roots and oft-visited avenues of debauched romanticism.

80
Mojo

This is exciting, audacious work from a band once again on the edge of a new future.

80
The Irish Times

AM hits the mark every time. Warm and distinctive, it's the sound of a band that changes subtly with each record yet still manages to retain enough originality and suss to engender respect as well as envy.

80
Uncut

AM ... feels a considerably more self-assured album: heavy in a dramatic and confident way, conceptually strong, and not without groove.

80
The Guardian

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.

80
Clash

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.

80
Slant Magazine

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

80
Pitchfork

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.

80
Time Out London

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.

80
The Skinny

The gradual move from spit-and-sawdust indie pop to a broader palette – a fuller sound – is a smart one.

80
Q Magazine

AM continues a pattern, then: every couple of years, the Monkeys make a great album, sounding tighter and more telepathic with each release.

80
The Arts Desk
The enigmatic singer/lyricist might have remodelled his coiffure on the Beatles' Hamburg quiffs, but the musical mood often evokes middle-period Rolling Stones, when actual experience of America impacted on their innate Englishness.
75
The Line of Best Fit

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.

70
Rolling Stone

The Monkeys keep on evolving ... their fifth LP is this quintessentially English retro-rock band's most American-sounding record, especially rhythmically.

70
FasterLouder

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.

70
Consequence of Sound

Their music is suddenly sexier, no doubt a credit to Turner’s vision for AM, and continues to mature. 

70
SPIN

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.

60
Record Collector

Whether or not AM affects you as thrillingly as it will many younger fans will depend on whether you love or loathe such revivalism. But there’s no arrogance or bluster here, and for that at the very least these new rock stalwarts should be applauded.

55
Under the Radar

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. 

50
Drowned in Sound

For all the prowling masculinity in the music it’s a neutered, hollowed thing - too confessional, too shallow, too Route One. It’s an album of desperate grasping at adulthood, of spilt secrets and drinks.

45
Northern Transmissions

There are some decent beats and guitar riffs but other than a couple of songs, it’s a gigantic miss.

30
The Needle Drop

While some may find the band's easygoing rock instrumentation and singer-songwriter Alex Turner's supposedly clever and humorous lyricism to be entertaining, AM is just another move closer toward making the most cold, calculated, and tame rock music imaginable.

BradTasteMusic
35

I get it, but that doesn’t make it good. This is everything Arctic Monkeys was heading towards... and in a couple of spots it worked... but overall this album is just unbelievable dull. It’s hard to find anything engaging about this album.

I have 53 minutes online of footage of me talking about this so I will keep this short.

zachthesnack
82

too many bops for me not to love it

PipePanic
50

So uh…3000 followers.

That’s beyond nuts to me. Realistically, this is a milestone that, frankly, should not have been met. I think I've only posted a couple of reviews per year, maybe put out a handful of lists but mainly just stuck to rating stuff i’ve heard. To get to 3K from basically doing what I would consider the bare minimum is, by no means, insanity. Thanks to everyone for checking out the reviews when they do come in, and thanks to everyone who has been patiently ... read more

EHAN
55

Arctic Monkeys (5/7)

I'll start with the positives. The streaming numbers are fucking BONKERS, man. Not one. Not two. But Three songs over a billion with one with two billion. Anyway, this album is mid. Yep. Like if you were to point out an album that was the most average, blandest album, this might be one of them. The issues of previous albums all seem to flourish as it seems that Arctic Monkeys knew this album would make BANK. The hits are pretty much the only worthwhile songs on here and ... read more

60

Most of the songs sound the same but I like it so.

NotBigFella
60

Boring and safe compared to their older stuff but overall its fine

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Added on: June 24, 2013