REVIEW: Arctic Monkeys AM

Arctic Monkeys AM
Arctic Monkeys AM

Ok, I’ll admit it. I was one of the those saddo buy-it-on-the-day-of-purchase fanboys when it came to this album - just as I was for the first album back in 2006.

Was I sucked in by the hype? Probably. Are they still worth the hype? Definitely.

Back in 2006 they offered something a little different from ‘the pack’ – with cheeky chappy clever lyrics scattered throughout a collection of indie rock classics (see Mardy Bum and the imperious When The Sun Goes Down).

Now, for me, they still offer a little something different from the ‘pack’ (and have outlasted most of that 2006-set) but in a different way.

Their sound has certainly matured over the course of five albums, albeit still with enough of those cheeky glint-in-the-eye lyrics and, thankfully, not in the way that for some acts ‘mature’ means ‘become ever duller’.

AM thumps into action with Do I Wanna Know? – a catchy track that is one of a few here that seems to have borrowed a little from the group’s relationship with the Black Keys.

The pace continues through RU Mine, a single released so long ago I thought it was from the last album and in a way forms a neat bridge between the sound of Suck It And See and AM.

The album certainly seems defined by Alex Turner’s infectious falsetto as well as a generally more melodic feel that marks the band’s full development over seven years.

The superb Knee Socks is the furthest away from the original album it gets here – but that is no bad thing and is, for me, an undoubted highlight.

Other high points come with the current short-and-sharp single Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High, the second of the mid-album ‘slowies’ Mad Sounds and the final track I Wanna Be Yours, which borrows its excellent lyrics from a poem.

Perhaps the only disappointment I’ve had so far with AM is Arabella, a track that had had a good billing in preview pieces but is yet to really catch fire for me.

Still, it’s got time because I imagine this will be firmly lodged in my car for some time to come yet.