Album Review: Retro-hip Arctic Monkeys confess with ‘AM’

Maggie Mcginity

The Arctic Monkeys have a secret, they are in love with you. At least, the lyrics on their new album “AM” seem to say so. By the end of this album, there’s a good chance you’ll be in love with them too.

The British indie rock four-piece have been making music for more than a decade learning how to seamlessly blend a large number of different sounds and genres, making their music a brand all its own. The rhythm driven with a special reliance placed on the bass guitar and drums.

“AM” is somewhere between a sock hop and hip-hop, a dash of British invasion sprinkled over post-punk tunes. Multi-man vocals, doubled melodies and simple  yet story-based lyrics reinforce the musical craftsmanship and excellent songwriting of the Arctic Monkeys’ fifth studio album.

A few lackluster songs toward the beginning of this album separate it from true greatness, along with a small lack of playability. This album is perfect for a party, be it in a London flat or an Ames apartment, where conversation actually makes an appearance and wooing has more to do with words than dance moves, though some dancing while listening to “AM” is definitely required.

Actually actively listening to “AM” is a bit dangerous, though; once its subject matter is discovered, it cannot be undiscovered. At best, this album is lyrically an ode to a long-time secret crush; at worst, the Arctic Monkeys are singing stalkers and these songs are a new way to reach their object of affection.

However, one of the best things about this album is that it might actually succeed in starting or perpetuating a romance. These songs are subtly seductive and powerfully persuasive, showing off a confidence and casual talent as comfortable playing in a garage as performing for a sold-out stadium. Playing “AM” should have a better success rate than a pick-up line any day of the week and, if nothing else, might inspire some declarations as bold and charming as the Arctic Monkeys themselves.