Arctic Monkeys 5th album 'AM' is the bands most popular album, as it managed to propel their popularity worldwide, at the time they were only really a beloved band in the EU (and Britain of course), but singles like 'Do I Wanna Know?' and 'R U Mine?' caught intrigue from music fans all over the globe, ultimately these singles and this album overall broke them into worldwide superstardom and those songs in particular remain some of this bands most played songs on streaming services. Now when I first heard 'AM' in particular during my binge of the bands discography, I wasn't very entertained by it all that much, in fact I found a lot of what the band did on this thing to be extremely trite, incredibly uninteresting and flat out boring, Alex Turner sounded comatose while he was performing and the instrumental backdrop wasn't doing him any favours either. I would've rather go listen to the bands earlier stuff and even 'Tranquillity Base Hotel & Casino' and it still remains that way even after my revisit of this album.
After listening to a bit of their stuff a few days ago, Spotify started playing some songs from 'AM' and to my surprise I actually enjoyed them, so for a while I was playing songs off of this album on repeat until I decided to just re-listen to 'AM' in it's entirety once again and like what I said at the beginning of this review, it's a grower. Is this album flawed however? Yes. Is this album Arctic Monkeys best? No, absolutely not, I would take those albums I mentioned over this any day. Do I enjoy this album however? Yes. Do I like what they attempted on here? Yes. Will I ever listen to it again? Maybe.
Production wise 'AM' is crisp in its mixes, refined in its sound and pretty simplistic all in all, it's less energetic than the bands early records yeah, but at its core its still definitively Arctic Monkeys, its just at a slower and sludgy pace which was more than likely influenced by the bands collaborations with Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age. I like how 'AM' maintains a classic rock and blues-y approach with modern polish, the riffs on this album at times are very memorable, especially if we talk about tracks like 'Do I Wanna Know?', 'Knee Socks', 'Arabella' (although they stole that one from Black Sabbaths War Pigs) and 'R U Mine?', I think the drumming is quite good even if a bit compressed, the slower jams like 'No. 1 Party Anthem' and 'Mad Sounds' are honestly quite nice and while the writing isn't that deep and its more or less the same as usual for Arctic Monkeys, its written well and Alex Turner does his thing.
Where my issues lie with 'AM' though is in its mixes, memorability and the fact that I think its front loaded, most of the best tracks are on the front of this album with other standouts sporadically appearing throughout its duration, the songs that are really forgettable on here are well and truly forgettable with little in the way of anything to remember them by, some tracks are just generic in their approach to say the least and the mixes can often get way to clean for my liking.
Yeah, this album is overhyped, but its also overhated, it has some merit to and I'm honestly happy that I went back and gave it another chance as I do believe that 'AM' has more to offer with more listens, I will return to some tracks on this album definitely but I don't see myself listening to much else from this bar a few standout tracks or listen to this over any other Arctic Monkeys albums bar 'Suck It and See'. In short I like this album but it does have its issues that hold it back.
Best Tracks: Do I Wanna Know?, R U Mine?, Arabella, No.1 Party Anthem, One for the Road and Knee Socks.
Worst Tracks: Snap Out Of It and I Wanna Be Yours.