Album Release of the Week: Arctic Monkeys, “AM”
Since the release of their first album, Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, in 2006, the Arctic Monkeys have been evolving their style of music to showcase on their fifth album, AM. The recent album came out on Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013. For those of you who are not familiar with the Arctic Monkeys, they are an English rock band from Sheffield that formed in 2002. The have produced five records over the course of eight years. Their first album was the fastest selling debut album in UK history, selling 363,735 records in the first week.
Their newest album, AM, is a culmination of their career. It incorporates the intense, raw sounds of the first album, with a mixture of influences from g-funk and classic rock. It’s upbeat and fun to listen to whether you are walking to school, hanging out with friends, orworking out in Koret Health and Recreation Center. Matt Helder’s drumming is reserved yet tasteful, which truly changes the sound from previous albums. The backing vocals harmonize stylishly with lead vocalist, Alex Turner’s alluring croon. A few of the songs on the album really stood out to me and I have not been able to stop listening to them.
The album opens with its lead single, “Do I Wanna Know,” a song that gets you excited to listen to the rest of the album. The minimalist drum beat adds to the anthemic, intriguing sound of the song. Track 4, titled “Arabella,” tells the story of a space woman whose “lips are like the galaxy’s edge, and her kiss the color of a constellation falling into place.” The hip-hop style beat mixed with attention-grabbing lyrics makes for a definite stand out track The third single, and ninth track on the record, “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High,” tells the story that some of us know all too well. The lyrics describe a man on a drunken night out, blowing up a girl’s phone and trying to see her. The lyrics are almost conversational, and he sings the hook in a bit of a slur: “Now it’s three in the morning, and I’m trying to change your mind, left you multiple missed calls and to my message, you reply. Why’d you only call me when you’re high?” The song begins slow, with a simple beat followed by a catchy chorus. I definitely recommend checking out this song along with its music video. The second to last song, “Knee Socks,” is quite possibly the sexiest and best song on the album. The alluring beat and simple guitar riff makes it the catchiest song on the record. The lyrics, “I might have lit the fuse that you did not want to be lit,” imply that the girl did not want to become attached, but may already have. With guest vocals from Queens of the Stone Age’s Josh Homme, it is my favorite track on the record. If you listen to any song on the album, I recommend this one.
The band is currently on tour promoting AM, and they will be performing at the Fox Theater in Oakland on Thursday, Sept. 26 and Friday, Sept. 27. If you are interested in hearing the album live, this is your chance.
If you have been a fan of Arctic Monkey’s last albums, this record will not disappoint. And if you have never listened to them before, AM is a great starter album. It is one of my favorite records to come out this year, and is certainly a worthy listen!
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