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Old 09-02-2013, 01:19 PM   #91
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This is one of my more anticipated releases. Wish they wouldn't put out so many non-lossless b-sides is all because their b-sides are fantastic.
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Old 09-02-2013, 10:08 PM   #92
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Great album. Dan Smee is right about a nice cohesiveness. Definitely a different kind of sound for them, but still Arctic Monkeys. I really like Fireside
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Old 09-03-2013, 08:13 AM   #93
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Of the non singles, the two standouts for me so far are One For the Road and Snap Out of It, but the whole album is a ride, start to finish. Real quality all the way through - could not be happier
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Old 09-03-2013, 12:09 PM   #94
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Arabella has just walked straight into my Monkeys song top 5. Incredible.

I've just noticed there are some nice short solos on this album.
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Old 09-04-2013, 03:52 PM   #95
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It's a pretty good album. It's kinda samey, without as many great pop moments as Suck It And See. Seems like they're back in Black Keys territory again, which is whatever. I really like the first two tracks, but being as upbeat as they are, they're misleading. I think I like it more than Humbug right now (which I took Cornerstone from and basically nothing else) but less than the others. It's consistently enjoyable, for sure.

Their biting of War Pigs in the pre-chorus of Arabella is so blatant that it has to be a conscious homage. They even kept the hi-hat. I thought it was cool though.
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Old 09-04-2013, 04:35 PM   #96
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I'll never understand the people who like Humbug the least. It's the one witht the most replay value for me, followed closely by the debut.
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Old 09-04-2013, 05:37 PM   #97
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Holy shit, the NME review. I like the record as well but ths is just ridiculous. Spoiler: they give it a 10.

Quote:
Arctic Monkeys’ fifth record is absolutely and unarguably the most incredible album of their career. It might also be the greatest record of the last decade. It's not, however, the work of a band operating at their absolute peak that's yet to come. It’s the work of a band still growing, still fine-tuning, still learning and still experimenting; a band who will not look back on this record as a career high, but as the moment they stopped being defined by genre and instead became artists. Not a rock band definitely not an indie band, but artists. Think Bowie, think The Beatles, think Stevie Wonder and think Bob Dylan. From this point on, Arctic Monkeys can do whatever they want, sound however they like, and always be Arctic Monkeys. But that's all for another day, sometime in their stupidly bright future. For now, we should celebrate this record for what it is ~ 41 minutes and 57 seconds of near perfection.

Let's begin with the details. Twelve tracks, recorded at Sage & Sound Recording in Los Angeles and Rancho De La Luna in Joshua Tree, California, featuring guest appearances from Queens Of The Stone Age’s Josh Homme, Elvis Costello's drummer Pete Thomas and ex-Coral man Bill Ryder-Jones. It was produced by James Ford and co-produced by Ross Orton, with mixing from Chad Blake, who worked on The Black Keys’ breakthrough album, ‘Brothers’. It's a record about sex, lust, frustration and isolation, and about getting really, really high. As you will have already read in NME, it’s a total West Coast record that's as much late-'9os hip-hop in sound as it is mid-’7os rock. And the lyrics… Oh, maaaan. At times they sound like they were written by a man with a burning hard-on who wants – or rather needs - to savagely fuck your body, mind and soul.

That man, of course, is Alex Turner, one of only a handful of musicians dead or alive that it's not completely ludicrous to describe as an actual genius. On ‘AM’ - as he has been for the past 18 months or so - he's channelling the spirit of another one of that select bunch, John Lennon. And we‘re not just talking about the Hamburg quiff here. Throughout the record, you can't get away from Lennon's presence, never more so than on ‘Arabella’, the cornerstone of the album, where Dre collides into Sabbath with the elegance of a horny drunk on a lost weekend. Alex's wordplay echoes the surrealism of ‘I Am The Walrus’ or ‘Come Together’, announcing that “Arabella's got some interstellar gator skin boots/And a helter-skelter around her little finger, I ride it endlessly” before slamming into a vocal delivery lifted straight from the chorus of Lennon's 1975 Old Grey Whistle Test recording of ‘Stand By Me’. In keeping with the influences of the record, there’s a whiff of Eminem in the way he rolls his elongated sentences across a few lines of melody, finding rhymes in the middle of lines where less gifted songwriters would not even think to look. Speaking about Lennon to NME last year, Alex explained how difficult he found trying to write in such a way: “It’s all a jumble, but it's not just that. It paints you a picture and puts you in this place. He’s got a way of leading you somewhere with these unusual words that don’t make sense, but also make perfect fucking sense.” Right here, he’s nailed it. Unsurprisingly, they're Alex's favourite lyrics on the album. But they're not the best.

For those, take your pick of the opening lines to ‘Do I Wanna Know?’, the slow-grinding juggernaut of handclaps, feet stomps and that Jamie Cook riff that kicks off the whole record the sexed- up chorus of the R&B-influenced ‘One For The Road’ (“So we all go back to yours and you sit and talk to me on the floor/There’s no need to show me round, baby, I feel like I’ve been here before”), or the heart- stopping beauty of “I Wanna Be Yours’ (“I wanna be your vaccuum cleaner/Breathing in your dust/I wanna be your Ford Comina/I will never rust"). The latter's lyrics are lifted straight from John Cooper Clarke poem with slight tweaks and an added chorus. It's the last track on the record and highlights the confidence that Alex is now writing with, where he can leave you with a feeling that he’s saying, “Yeah, I'm good, but check this guy out.” It only adds to the sense that the best is yet to come from this band.

In-between ‘Do I Wanna Know?’ and ‘I Wanna Be Yours', the record bristles with that same confidence and depth. You already know ‘R U Mine?', the song whose sound informed the entire writing and recording process and introduced the world to The Cosmic Opera Melodies Of The Space Choirboys (namely Matt Helders and Nick O’Malley doing their best falsettos), and ‘Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High?’, where Helders' drums have never sounded so hip-hop as they beat out th rhythm to Alex's pissed-up booty call. As for the rest, ‘I Want It All’ is a pure glam- rock stomp, ‘No 1 Party Anthem‘ could have been liftted straight from Alex Turner’s own Submarine soundtrack or Lennnon’s ‘Double Fantasy’, ‘Mad Sounds' pitches somewhere between a sleazy Lou Reed slowie and a Primal Scream ballad, ‘Fireside’ (featuring Bill Ryder-Jones) gallops along on a mariachi rhythm, dragging the desert influence back into the city, and ‘Snap Out Of It' swirls with such orchestral intensity that it wouldn't feel out of place on a second Last Shadow Puppets album.

If Arctic Monkeys had never walked into the desert with Josh Homme to record ‘Humbug’ in 2009, they could never have made ‘AM’. ‘Humbug’ was as much about subverting people’s impressions of who the band were as it was an album in its own right. It was a shedding of the skin, a descending of the bollocks, where riffs became beam and boys became men. But most importantly it condemned he first incarnation of Arctic Mon keys - the bright-eyed teenage know-it-alls with hits tumbling out of their trackie bottoms pockets- to a shallow grave in the sand. ‘Humbug’ was the first evolution of the Monkeys, ‘AM’ is the second, which in a completely fucked-up way makes 2011's masterpiece ‘Suck It And See’ the most insignificant record in the band's history.

Homme’s presence is most prominently felt on ‘Knee Socks’, where he repays the favour for Alex’s involvement in the most recent Queens Of The Stone Age record by adding a haunting, agonised howl to a Destiny’s Child-style breakdown that flips Merry Clayton's ‘Gimme Shelter’ vocal on its head. It's a fitting, heavyweight contribution from the man who many originally thought had destroyed the Arctic Monkeys with his influence. but who history will remember as the man who helped turn them into gods.

So yes, look at the score, listen to the record, and bask in the glory of knowing that while this may be chapter five of the complete history, it’s the first act of the real golden age.

10/10

Mike William
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Old 09-04-2013, 06:23 PM   #98
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I could put on Favorite Worst Nightmare on repeat. I've loved this album like crazy ever since the first time I heard it. I still do. I can't think of a song by this band that I actively dislike as I sit here and listen to the 76 Arctic Monkeys songs that are on my iPod.
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Old 09-10-2013, 12:09 PM   #99
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I'm really digging this album after finishing my first listen. Time to spin it again....
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Old 09-16-2013, 03:56 PM   #100
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Just learned that Deap Vally is going to be touring with them in October. Hoping they're hooking up during the 3 night stand here in LA so I can see it.
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Old 09-18-2013, 03:02 PM   #101
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The more I listen to this, the more I'm realizing I really like it, but the melodies are a bit less obvious before and therefore I don't find myself humming them to myself or getting them stuck in my head quite as much. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing. Either way, right now I'd say my enjoyment of this one equals my enjoyment of Suck It And See.
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Old 09-18-2013, 03:52 PM   #102
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Loving the lyrics on "Arabella". Some of the coolest shit I've ever heard. So ridiculous.

Also, "No. 1 Party Anthem" seems to keep getting caught in my mind. Beautiful song.

Sunglasses indoors. Par for the course.

A couple of the tracks still haven't clicked with me completely. It's not my favorite of the band's albums, but it's still awesome. They went for that whole smoky, sexy, blue light, nightclub -> after hours vibe and they've definitely achieved it.

And Turner's voice and lyrics will reign supreme until he decides to hang it up. What a boss.
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Old 09-18-2013, 03:59 PM   #103
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I think some of my early favorites are No. 1 Party Anthem, Fireside, and Knee Socks.
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Old 09-18-2013, 04:08 PM   #104
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"Knee Socks" is hot as hell. Love that crazy, rapid-fire, falsetto-drenched section near the end.

"Like the beginning of Mean Streets you can be my baby"
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Old 09-18-2013, 11:58 PM   #105
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I love "Knee Socks", and was happy that they played it on Tuesday in Boston.
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