Arctic Monkeys, AM

Jake Tapley

The newest release by indie rock group Arctic Monkeys, entitled “AM,” has already generated a lot of hype and garnered its fair share of critical acclaim, and I can definitely see why.
Although some fans of the band might claim that they have changed their sound, I feel that what is heard on “AM” is just a modern adaptation of their post-punk roots.
Because of the simplicity of the title and album design, I was expecting a return to a barer, more stripped-down sound for the band. However, much of the opposite is actually true.
The opening track – the single, “Do I Wanna Know?” – establishes this quickly. With its dark, heavy sounds and overall thickness, it feels enormous. When I first heard the chorus, I thought of The Black Keys’ song “Gold on the Ceiling.”
I feel that same kind of transition taking place for the Arctic Monkeys.
Band front man Alex Turner has expressed the influence that hip hop has had on the album, and it is quite evident, especially in the R&B style vocals of “One For The Road” or the pulsating rhythm of the insanely catchy “Arabella.”
Hook-driven songs or upbeat tempos aren’t exactly new territory for the band, though. Ever since their 2006 breakthrough single, “I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor,” that’s kind of been their thing.
Their earlier releases might have had some rougher edges, but I don’t think anything was lost in cleaning the sound up.
I would even argue that something was gained: accessibility.