Arctic Monkeys have never been the stale types. It’s no surprise, then, that fifth album ‘AM’ continues to push things forward. Where ‘Suck It And See’ was crooned and swoonsome, ‘AM’ takes cooler cues from the band’s lives in California, tinged with the grooves of Dr Dre and West Coast hip-hop.
‘Do I Wanna Know?’ sets the tone with pounding beats, Matt Helders’ simpering falsetto and lyrics that cast Alex Turner as a lustful lothario. ‘One For The Road’ sees Jamie Cook’s slinking guitar lines and club-worthy drum beats cushioning Alex’s semi-raps ,while ‘Arabella’ continues the theme, as the impressively quiffed frontman details an intergalactic beauty with a “Barbarella silver swimsuit” and a “seventies head”.
Things return to the style of ‘Suck It…’ momentarily on middle pairing ‘No 1 Party Anthem’ and ‘Mad Sounds’ and later, as if in one final attempt to convince us they’ve not forgotten their roots in all that LA sun, Alex – using craggier than a cliff-top wordsman John Cooper-Clarke’s poetry – coos about a leccy meter (‘I Wanna Be Yours’).
It’s the romantic last dance of an album that shows that they’re still the same old Monkeys. Just dressed up slicker and sexier.