Arctic Monkeys - The Car
Nov 24, 2022
The Arctic Monkeys return after four years of practically silence (besides one single and a live album) with their seventh studio album The Car. The Car in short feels like a much more refined Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino. It has all the characteristics that were shown in that album, all the quirks and qualities but the blandness and nothingness has been trimmed down to make this a much more enjoyable experience to listen to.
I’m sure a lot of people were hoping that Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino was a one off and that the band would go back to making music similar to their early stuff but it seems the band are very eager to keep exploring this baroque sound and I’m all for it. The lead single There’d Better Be a Mirrorball gave us an amazing look at what this album would sound like. It really sounded like the band had figured out what they wanted to do. We then got the second single Body Paint which only further cemented that for me. I was officially excited for this album so when it did finally release (and I know I am very late to the party but isn’t that normal by now) I anticipated something great.

The first half of the album is what I anticipated. Tracks one to five are all really good and have some amazing ideas that are explored that make these songs feel interesting and investing. Tracks like the lead single There’d Better Be a Mirrorball and Sculptures of Anything Goes showcases a real change in sound and an experimentation I haven’t really heard in an Arctic Monkeys record. There’d Better Be a Mirrorball is a stellar baroque pop track and really feels like proper ballroom music. Everything about the track feels refined and acutely produced and works excellently as an opener and tone setter. The following track I Ain’t Quite Where I Think I Am has an amazing funk to it and I absolutely adore the choir-like “ahhh”s in-between verses. Then the aforementioned Sculptures of Anything Goes is an incredibly bassy and slightly unnerving track but once again does an amazing job at keeping your attention and making a song in the style of their previous record interesting and captivating. All of the songs on the first half of the album have something great to say about them as they all have something that sticks out.
It's unfortunate that the second doesn’t follow suite.

Tracks six to ten unfortunately don’t follow the trend of the previous tracks and end up feeling somewhat boring and uninspired, much like their previous album. That’s not to say there isn’t anything good in these songs but they feel like such a downgrade from what we’ve already heard. It all just feels a bit boring. Songs like The Car and Mr Schwartz sound way too similar to each other and tracks like Big Ideas just feel like they don’t really go anywhere; it just sort of meanders along until it finishes.
Then we have the closer Perfect Sense which feels underwhelming and while not unfitting it could have been so much more. I can’t help but feel a lot more could have been done with this song especially in the vocal department especially considering the vocals on the opening track and I Ain’t Quite Where I Think I Am.
With such a strong first half it’s really unfortunate to see it squander in the second. I can see myself returning to the first five songs plenty as I really enjoyed all of them but the other five? I don’t really care for.
The Arctic Monkeys have something really good here underneath more bland baroque pop and I am intrigued to see where they’ll go from this. Hopefully their next release will be the album that shows me that they can make a true ballroom album that doesn’t kill itself midway through.

Favourite Tracks: There’d Better Be a Mirrorball, I Ain’t Quite Where I Think I Am, Sculptures of Anything Goes, Jet Skis on the Moat, Body Paint
Least Favourite Tracks: The Car, Big Ideas, Hello You, Mr Schwartz, Perfect Sense

1 Comment
Mr Schwartz sounds like a lazy Tindersticks rip-off. What many people don't understand is that Arctic Monkeys can't basically go back to basics and make the same music again. Come to think of it, the title track at least had a good solo near the end, and of course Jet Skis was a nice song, and all the singles are great in their own right. But yeah it is nothing but a rip-off of a Tindersticks album.
Sign in to comment.
More Reviews by Supertartory
Arctic Monkeys - Humbug
Jan 26, 2020
Rate and review albums along with the AOTY community. Create an account today.
Become a Donor
Donor badge, no ads + more benefits.
More Reviews

March Playlist