Album review: Arctic Monkeys, AM

By Scott Kara

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This is laid-back and more than a little dark by Arctic Monkeys' standards. Which is a good thing, and it also makes the Sheffield band's fifth album one for those who always found the jumped-up brats' uppity anthems a little annoying.

Excellent mood-setter and opener Do I Wanna Know? starts up, almost sluggishly, with a heavy-handed thud and an arcing snake charmer riff, and the delightfully jauntie waster anthem Why You Only Call Me When You High? is frontman Alex Turner's inspired take on hip-hop.

The posturing, lippy R U Mine? also marks a change in the band with a tougher groove rather than their customary unhinged and punky pop rock approach.

But the best example of their more mature, intrepid sound is highlight Arabella, which has it all, from unashamed Black Sabbath riffs to some of Turner's best storytelling lines like, "She's got a Barbarella swimsuit, and when she needs to shelter from reality she takes a dip in my daydream".

Then there's thrumming campfire tune Fireside; Mad Sounds could be off Primal Scream's Screamadelica, and musically the most fun they have is on the poppy, toe-tapping, sing-along of Snap Out of It.

Its packed with catchy, yet strange, rock 'n' roll tunes - which are the best sort.

Stars: 4/5
Verdict: An album for non-Arctic Monkeys fans.
Click here to buy AM by Arctic Monkeys.

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