It’s a perfectly listenable album, but for a group as talented as the Arctic Monkeys, I expect more, and they’ve always delivered before

I love the Arctic Monkeys, and this isn’t a bad album. Now that I’ve hopefully avoided the death threats, let me tell why I think AM has been massively overhyped. Alex Turner and the rest of the Sheffield band had produced four fantastic records full of interesting and innovative indie rock before 2013, and AM just feels lazy in comparison to me. For every ‘Do I Wanna Know?’ or ‘RU Mine?’, which are two fantastic singles full of great riffs, Turner’s trademark wit and passionate performances, there’s a ‘Fireside’ or an ‘I Want It All’. Half the album tracks on this fifth effort seem like filler, recorded by a bored Arctic Monkeys cover band, or simply a popular group resting on their laurels. AM far too often lacks the energy which the boys used to have in spades. Take ‘Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?’, for example – the riff which carries the whole song is simply a slower version of ‘R U Mine?’. It feels tired, and that’s the case for most of AM, even the songs I really enjoy like the sexy ‘Arabella’ or the sombre closer ‘I Wanna Be Yours’. It’s a perfectly listenable album, but for a group as talented as the Arctic Monkeys, I expect more, and they’ve always delivered before. So forget this, and let’s hope for a wacky return to form on Tranquillity Base Hotel and Casino.

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