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Arctic Monkeys – AM

Laura Lloyd

Triangle

2013 isn’t even over yet and already the Arctic Monkeys have taken the year by storm. In addition to creating a new album, the Sheffield foursome have also appeared at Glastonbury,sold out a UK tour that hasn’t even started yet and have claimed ‘Best Band’ awards from the likes of GQ. It would be easy to say that life is going pretty smooth for the once small indie band from Sheffield.

After track R U Mine? was released on YouTube back in 2012, the Monkeys fan base blew up with expectations about their latest album. Fearing the band had become too Americanised after their stint in the US, opinions were split as it appeared Turner had found his inner Elvis and shunned the ‘old’ Monkeys sound.

Dipping their toes into the waters of RnB is never something that would have been expected of the Arctic Monkeys, but amidst the droll of first track Do I Wanna Know? it’s hard not to notice the slight hip-hop beat. The track is awash with infatuation which is accentuated by the broken hearted voice of Turner. It’s a powerful and seductive way to open the album. However, there is the feeling that behind all of the songs Turner is still singing about an old flame. Gone are the songs about prostitutes and fighting with bouncers and, in their place, are hauntingly gloomy lyrics about rocky relationships and uncertain feelings. The boys have never been famous for ‘rocking out’ but it is unmistakable how mollified this album is.

Despite the title, No. 1 Party Anthem thankfully isn’t a David Guetta style Friday night number. In fact, it isn’t far from sounding like Cornerstone. The bluesy doo-waps return in stripped down track Fireside. Before the album reaches its end in the form of wisdom filled I Wanna Be Yours.

In true Arctic Monkeys style the album still shines a light on the bands boisterous ways.
However, it’s clear that Turners on/off relationship with womankind plays a major role in the new batch of lyrics. The new album may not be to everyone’s taste but the fact that the band can change their sound and keep their hometown roots is something to be admired. This album is unmistakeably one of the best to come out of Britain in a long while.