Arctic Monkeys - AM
I guess classic Arctic Monkeys and new Arctic Monkeys started with Humbug. The change is musical direction that alienated so many people at it’s release in 2009, myself included. It was an album that paved the way for today’s Arctic Monkeys. But here we are in 2013 with the bands fifth studio album, one that actually brought me back to the band after finding them around the time of Favourite Worst Nightmare, my interest eventually dropping off by Suck it and See, it was the singles of AM that got me interested again. The singles are strong, they are powerful sounding and have that riffage from Humbug. The songs are catchy and they have echoes of other bands and era’s, and it’s welcome. However, I find there to be little outside of these singles. “One for the Road” features muted string plucking, also heard on “Arabella” which reminds me of Blood Orange. “One for the Road” and “Knee Socks” also feature Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age, but the songs come off as pretenders; they are plagued by the ghosts of a superior band, really that’s the problem with the whole album; the band sound as if they still haven’t settled into their own sound, they are moving further away. “Arabella” is an example of this “search for a sound”. At points, now Alex Turner has said Black Sabbath were an influence, but it feel too much like a blatant and crude rip off; it doesn’t work. The middle of the album tails off somewhere, like the album art, bookended by a sense of energy before going into “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High”. Overall, I understand how the band are evolving, but they seem to be evolving around Alex, they have firmly abandoned the danceable indie post punk guitar hits from their early career and adopted a take on rock n roll vocal heavy rock which borrows from all decades of rock music almost. It’s interesting, and they can write a good catchy song, yet I feel that this album lacks something. You’re biting your lip in bemusement, and it’s a shame.