Them Arctic Monkeys I tell ya, where have they run off to? It’s been 4 years since their latest album “AM” came out, the album that sent Arctic Monkeys to mainstream success.
Arctic Monkeys are notorious for significantly changing their style and sound from album to album, so we really have no idea what they’re going to throw at us next, but its sure to be just as diverse as their other albums were. I grew up on these guys, I remember back in 2007, when my dad bought “Favourite Worst Nightmare”, we played it in the car on the drive home, and I just remember how insane it was to hear “Brianstorm” for the first time. Immediately you are bombarded with menacing drums provided by Matt Helders that really grab you into the song, and it simply doesn’t stop throughout the entire duration. This is the song that made me want to become a drummer, the stamina Matt has on the drums is incredibly inspiring, and you could tell that he really wanted to give it his all on this album. The next song “Teddy Picker” doesn’t stop the pace, with the infectious guitar riff and snappy drum beats, and I love all the stops and accents in this song’s groove, particularly when Alex Turner sings: “Let’s have a game on the Teddy Picker, Not quick enough, can I have it quicker? Already thick and you’re getting thicker”. The video for this song is legendary, a really nice live studio rendition of the song, and it sounds even better than the album version. Here it is:
“D is for Dangerous” is kind of the centrepiece of the album in terms of what Alex is talking about, as he says: “I think you should know you’re his favourite worst nightmare”, he is basically saying to someone that he’s in love with his girl, but he is also scared to tell her how he really feels about her. The song “Balaclava” is what an affair would be like if it was a robbery. The sinister groove on this song certainly puts you in the mindset of a robber, which to me is a brilliant way to write a song; so creative. If you know Arctic Monkeys, then you’re sure to know the amazing single “Fluorescent Adolescent“, which has one of the catchiest melodies out of the entire AM discography, this song immediately hits you with those classic “DUN DUN DUN”s that upon first listen, will be engraved in your memory shortly after the song finishes. Love the amazingly written lyrics that conclude the song: “You’re falling about, You took a left off Last Laugh Lane, Just sounding it out, But you’re not coming back again”, Alex Turner is lyrical genius, the words and metaphors he uses are always incredibly witty and unique.
The more somber, darker, and progressively explosive songs on this album fill the last half of the album: “Only Ones Who Know“, “Do Me a Favour“, “If You Were There, Beware“, and the haunting ending track “505“, this is Arctic Monkeys in pure poetic form, and Do Me a Favour particularly is one of the most well written break up songs ever written, in my opinion of course. On the vocal breakdown of the song, Alex takes us to the moment of his devastating break up: “She walked away, well, her shoes were untied, And the eyes were all red, you could see that we’d cried, And I watched and I waited ’til she was inside, Forcing a smile and waving goodbye”. What makes this album so great, is the bands ability to perfectly portray what Alex is talking about through their instruments, he takes us to such personal levels of his life through poetry, and when listening to this album in its entirety you start to feel what Alex was feeling at the time. An incredibly forward thinking album for its time, and it was a good way to show how diverse and dynamic they can be with their music, and its that trait of the Monkeys that brought them mainstream success, whether they liked it or not… (I mean, Alex Turner sure did).