British band Arctic Monkeys are one of the most popular bands out right now. The band’s sound, image, and everything else has changed significantly since “Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not,” but their latest fifth album, “AM” is one of my favorites.
“Do I Wanna Know?” is one of the catchiest songs I’ve ever heard. It just manages to get stuck in your head for days. “Maybe I’m too busy being yours to fall for somebody new,” is a classic lyric that just sticks. Alex Turner’s raspy and unique tone sounds amazing and as mad as ever. You can tell based on his delivery alone how conflicted he is and I think that really translates. Plus the general sound of the song combined with the lyrics makes an instant hit.
The second track “R U Mine?” is yet another classic song from the band. After the note that the album already takes due to the opening track “Do I Wanna Know?” you don’t really expect yet another catchy and fun song. Yet somehow the band manages to do just that simply because they can. I think the best part of this song is the music, especially the guitar riff courtesy of guitarist Jamie Cook. However, the lyrics are also pretty awesome. “I go crazy ’cause here isn’t where I want to be, and satisfaction seems like a distance memory.”
I love the slow sound of track, “No. 1 Party Anthem.” This song definitely isn’t the most memorable of the songs on this particular album. But it stands out to me because the general feel to it is a lot different from the other R&B/rock vibe songs. This one is a lot similar to songs off of their previous album, “Suck It And See.” I think the lyrics are typical Alex Turner in the respect that they have some different humor than what we’re used to seeing. The chorus is also really awesome and hard to forget.
The song after “No. 1 Party Anthem” is also a ballad but it has a different side to it, as weird as that sounds. It shows a more falsetto and fun side that really shows off Alex Turner’s tone of voice. The best way to describe it is that his vocals are pretty much the main focus of the song, which is a rare thing, especially on this album. The way he sings the line “all night long” is also unique and fun. The lyrics itself are not special, it’s just about listening to awesome music that makes you get up and dance, but his delivery is what counts.
I’d say aside from the first two tracks I talked about, “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?” is the biggest song on the album. It’s yet another simple song but the lyrics and his general attitude is what makes the song great. The hip-hop/R&B/soul sound that Arctic Monkeys experimented with throughout the album really shines even further in this track alone. It’s a short song but it definitely makes an impression. “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 replied, “Why’d you only call me when you’re high?”
Even though this album has been out for over a year now, it remains one of my favorites in the Arctic Monkey catalog. A lot of longtime fans of the band complain that this is what really generated mainstream attention and it’s not what the band typically sounds (and even looks) like. However, I do definitely think this is a cool and unique sound that really works for Alex Turner and the rest of Arctic Monkeys and I expect that to just grow and progress on their sixth album.