It’s safe to say that Arctic Monkeys have been surfing on a wave of success ever since their first album, Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I Am Not, came out in 2006, with every single one of their albums becoming a number 1, as well as playing at the Olympic opening ceremony in 2012, and numerous other incredible achievements.
Even so, there’s still some discussion over their new album AM (which came out on 9th September of this year) sounding too different from their other albums, and sounding too “American-ized”, considering it was recorded in LA, which frankly, you can tell when listening to it.
My question is: is this such a bad thing? As much as I, among others, loved 2006 Arctic Monkeys with their witty lyrics about everyday life in Sheffield, particularly shining through such gems as “When The Sun Goes Down,” “From The Ritz To The Rubble,” “Red Lights Indicate Doors Are Secured,” and “You Probably Couldn’t See For The Lights But You Were Staring Straight At Me,” and all it’s true honesty, but I feel that, truthfully, if the four Yorkshire lads had produced five albums of it, we’d all be tired of it, and people wouldn’t hold back the complaints. So what’s the big problem with changing things up a bit? In my opinion, none of the five albums Arctic Monkeys have produced sound too much like each other; they’re each different but still hold the typical Arctic Monkeys charm, which probably lies with Turner’s song-writing skills.
As much as people complain that his voice has “become more American” or whatever, one cannot say that Turner’s lyrics have declined into those of a regular song-writer. Songs on AM still contain such wonderful, beautiful, witty lyrics such those particularly in “Arabella,” “Do I Wanna Know?” and “R U Mine?”
And it’s clear that the Monkeys have vastly improved their performing skills. I saw them at Earl’s Court on the 25th October and they were absolutely phenominal, and their Glastonbury performance was really well done, in particular the use of an orchestra for “Mardy Bum” and “Cornerstone”.
So in all honesty, I think that people who say “oh Arctic Monkeys have changed too much” are wrong, since I feel like yes, they have changed, but only the right amount, and they have definitely kept a certain charm that only the Monkeys seem to possess.