By Sarah Steighner
September marked the release of the Arctic Monkeys new album “AM.” The album includes previously released hits such as “R U Mine?” and “Do I Wanna Know?” It contains the catchiness of their past four albums, but with arguably less compelling lyrical and driven musical arrangements.
The twelve track album features “Why’d You Only Call Me When Your High”, a song that embodies the flow of Alex Turner’s seductive vocals, but lacks the energy that previous songs have demonstrated. The distant, muddled slow paced sound in many songs seems to match the ever-present lyrical themes of confusion and drunkenness. “Mad Sounds” is a calming orchestrated piece but lacks a certain level of spunk.
Meanwhile, “No 1 Party Anthem” is ironically one of the slowest songs on the album with such a dragging tempo and lagging vocals that it makes a mockery of its own title.Thankfully, “Arabella” seems to be a redeeming track that recovers the groove that the drumbeat seems to be longing for the whole album. It includes a guitar solo that lets loose with such a chaotic melodious sound to it that demonstrates the well-known Arctic Monkeys vibe.
The upbeat manner continues into “I Want It All.” It starts out with a strong lively beat, but the surplus of repetitiveness combined with muddy sounding vocals has it taper off into the near forgettable. Thankfully, the album is snapped out of its sluggishness a bit with “Snap Out of It.” The vocals give off a sound of artistic mystery while the music stirs up certain liveliness.
Of course the catchiest track of the album is without a doubt “R U Mine”. The vocals are crystal clear with intent and emotion while the accelerated melody is filled with a fresh liveliness and memorable hooks.
Overall, this might not be the upbeat dance album that Arctic Monkeys fans are used to. However, the jagged guitar riffs, pulsing bass, and mellow sounding vocals have the album grow into a hypnotizing arrangement worth a listen.