I know little about the Arctic Monkeys, I know a couple of their more popular songs and I know they’re from Sheffield – I was a late comer to the Arctic Monkeys party and I’ve never been a real follower of the band. I went at the their most recent release, AM, with an open mind, in hope of being wowed by the group everyone seems to love.
After listening to just the two opening tracks, Do I Wanna Know? and R U Mine? I cannot believe I was stupid enough to not see them at Glastonbury last year when I had the chance. The music is raw, energetic, typically British and a pleasure to listen to, however with only the band’s most popular songs such as When The Sun Goes Down to compare to, all I can say in terms of development is the more obvious inspiration from other genres and artists. AM has many things indicative of this, featuring what sounds like drum machines on some songs and having backing vocals from Queens of the Stone Age’s Josh Homme draws inspiration from both hip-hop and more heavy, guitar lead rock.
AM sometimes comes under danger of becoming a bit flat at some points such as at midpoint I Want It All but as soon as you can begin to think this, a guitar solo or key change peps it up and normal service is resumed. However, what I will say is that I Want It All is a suitable transition to the slower, more tender, songs on the album – No. 1 Party Anthem and Mad Sounds,both of which are stand outs from AM.
As something of an Arctic Monkeys newbie, I’m a fan of their latest release. It’s a great album that I enjoyed listening to, it has the right balance of hard hitters, to more stripped back and measured tracks and is an album I’d recommend to any fans of the band or genre, as well as people yet to appreciate Arctic Monkeys, like myself.