Arctic Monkeys Showcase Sheer Brilliance On ‘AM’
Arctic Monkeys show infatuation at its best on their terrific 2013 album, ‘AM’.
The Arctic Monkeys have shown a great amount of maturity since their debut album, Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not. Such progression shines on the fifth studio album, AM. AM details the aftermath of a broken relationship, including regret and continual infatuation. Consistent, AM is a brilliant album.
“Do I Wanna Know?”
AM initiates with a drunken confession of love, “Do I Wanna Know?” In a minor key, the sound is dark, thanks to heavily distorted, garage-style guitars. The groove is relaxed, yet infectious. Frontman Alex Turner is infatuated:
“So have you got the guts? / Been wondering if your heart’s still open / and if so, I wanna know what time it shuts…”
Turner confirms his ‘drunkenness’ on the chorus:
“Crawlin’ back to you / ever thought of calling when you’ve had a few? / Cause I always do / Maybe I’m too busy being yours to fall for somebody new / now I’ve thought it through / crawling back to you.”
“R U Mine?”
“R U Mine?” follows capably, speeding up the tempo and retaining a minor key. Turner’s malaise continues:
“I go crazy cause here isn’t where I wanna be / and satisfaction feels like a distant memory / and I can’t help myself / all I wanna hear her say is ‘Are you mine? / Are you mine?’”
Turner continues his pursuance but fails to confirm that “she’s his.”
“One For The Road”
“One For The Road” serves as another moment propelled by the bottle. The repetitive iteration of the titular lyric (in falsetto) is among highlights.
“The mixture hits you hard / don’t get that sinking feeling / don’t fall apart / some out of tune guitar / soundtrack to disaster.”
“Arabella” has the frontman bothered to the point he spends the song ‘painting a picture’ of her. On “I Want It All,” the guitars rock hard with some superb riffs. Production and the vocal arrangement stand out in particular.
“No. 1 Party Anthem”
“No. 1 Party Anthem” is slow and dramatic. The harmonic progression is one of many pros. Even at a slower tempo, Turner expresses plenty of lyrical swag:
“So you’re on the prowl wondering whether she left already or not / leather jacket, collar popped like antennae / never knowing when to stop”
He doesn’t stop there, delivering another fantastic moment on the second verse:
“Drunken monologues, confused because / it’s not like I’m falling in love I just want you to do me no good / and you look like you could”
The most profound lyrical moment occurs during the bridge:
“The look of love, the rush of blood / the ‘she’s with me’, the Gallic shrug / the shutterbugs, the camera plus / the black and white, the color dodge / the good time girls, the cubicles / the house of fun, the number one party anthem.”
“Mad Sounds,” opens mysteriously with an interesting guitar lick. The track continues with consistency. It separates itself from other cuts with a less conventional songwriting structure. “Fireside” doesn’t rank among the elite of AM, but is sound and enjoyable. A brief instrumental section is a nice touch, allowing the music to shine.
“Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High” is among elite, featuring a groove and theme similar to the opener. Turner once more trails in the pursuance of a girl.
“Somewhere darker, talking the same shite,” he sings on verse two, “I need a partner, well are you out tonight?”
The chorus is a crowning achievement:
“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 reply / why’d you only call me when you’re high?”
The clever “Snap Out Of It” finds Turner trying to convince his love interest to leave her current boyfriend for him. On “Knee Socks,” the bedroom is the only thing on his mind, evidenced on the chorus. By closer “I Wanna Be Yours,” he’s desperate to be her boyfriend.
All in all, Arctic Monkey’s AM ranks among the best albums of 2013. AM is ‘a gift that’ll keep on giving’ for years to come.
Gems: “Do I Wanna Know?”, “R U Mine?”, “One For The Road,” “No. 1 Party Anthem” & “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?”