AM is the fifth album by the English indie rock group, Arctic Monkeys. Before, they’ve been categorized under psychedelic rock. The Arctic Monkeys are as psychedelic as you can get while still sounding down-to-earth. While the instrumentation used in AM is similar to many other groups, the sound that they produce stands out. During the choruses of the first two tracks, they use falsetto vocals to add a subtle layer of texture. In the opening track, “Do I Wanna Know”, the vocals never stray from the melody. No strict harmony is used, per se, but the vocals stack octaves and sing the chorus together. The following track, “R U Mine?” is more heavy and upbeat than the first track. What’s nice about this album is how nicely everything flows together. The fourth track, “Arabella” has the same tone as the previous tracks but is stripped down to much more minimal parts in each instrument. The lyrics are really nice in this track as well: ” Arabella’s got some interstellar-gator skin boots / And a helter skelter ’round her little finger and I ride it endlessly / She’s got a Barbarella silver swimsuit / And when she needs to shelter from reality she takes a dip in my daydreams.” This track airs more to the side of earlier hard rock while still carrying the familiar vibe that AM has. “No. 1 Party Anthem” divides the album perfectly in half. Stylistically, this is drastically different from the previous tracks. One neat thing I noticed about one of the tracks was how eerily similar the guitar and bass textures are in “I Wanna Be Yours” and “Plastic Beach” by Gorillaz. While the tone of the tracks may be gritty and distorted for the most part, the end result that Arctic Monkeys delivers is clean. Other groups can tend to be immensely over-the-top in their sound, but the tracks in AM are well put-together in their presentation.
Favorite Track: R U Mine?