When a band gets to five albums, they’ve usually done something awful along the way. Since 2006, when the Sheffield outfit took the Internet by storm with their album Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, The Arctic Monkeys haven’t endured a dodgy album or a dubstep experiment. And with AM, they’ve made it a quintet of quality.
The Arctic Monkeys have forged quite a repuation for themselves
“Arctic Monkeys’ fifth record is absolutely and unarguably the most incredible album of their career. It might also be the greatest record of the last decade,” said The NME, lavishing an unruly amount of praise on the new record. “Five albums in, they may not be a buzz band anymore, but they've become something much more interesting: a good band,” said Entertainment Weekly.
It’s testament to the bolshie rockers that they haven’t jacked it all in, especially given the current state of the industry in which they ply their trade. With guest appearances from Josh Homme, Bill Ryder-Jones, and Pete Thomas, they’ve also proven that they’re both willing and capable to evolve from their iconic first album, offering up substance as well as astute, contemporaneous observations.
“This fifth,” write The Guardian of AM, “however, manages to connect those different directions--the muscular riffs of Humbug and the wistful pop of Suck It and See--with the bristling energy and sense of fun that propelled their initial recordings.” The Independent write: “A sassy self-overhaul, AM issues lubricious R&B come-ons over a self-assured narrative arc with personality and open potential cannily spliced.”
Metacritic, a site that aggregates review scores, culminating in a handy overall score for use by websites like this, holds the Monkey’s latest offering at 81/100; and that’s from 28 critical reviews. It’s fair to say, ahead of an inevitable hat-trick or records, the lads from Sheffield are relentless in their quest for brilliance.
Alex Turner of the Monkeys plays Radio 1's Big Weekend in Carlisle