Album Review: The Arctic Monkeys - AM
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4/5 After thrilling us with their first two LPs, generally underwhelming us with the moody Humbug and leaving us wanting a bit more with the stylish Suck it and See, the Monkeys produce their finest album in AM. It’s clear that their previous efforts inform this album, but with insecure lyrics hidden behind confident sounds replacing the brashness of teens, the Monkeys have struck gold. The opening track serves to introduce us to several themes in AM, with references to the rejection, desperate attraction, veiled emotions and wallowing in a haze of self-pity. Do I Wanna Know is a booming first track whose lyrics betray the swaggering riffs and thumping drums by exposing the self-doubt of a booty call soured by Turner’s emotional attachment. This self-doubt continues as the album quickly upshifts into the best-selling single R U Mine, where Matt Helders’ frenetic drum work and the electrifying guitarmanship of Messer’s Cook, O’Malley and Turner explodes into your ears with the trademark Monkeys confidence, but masks a deeper insecurity. Clarifying his relationship status is Turner’s chief concern in this album, and he gets his answer in One For the Road, a reflective cooing where he finds himself ruing his every move after finding himself in his lovers “relegation zone”. Turner then waxes lyrical about his muse in the hip-swiveling Arabella, needing to refer to galaxies and constellations to do her descriptive justice.
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