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4.5 out of 5 stars
AM
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Arctic Monkeys are a fantastic band, and unbelievably, they have surpassed themselves. This is their best yet.

There is a tendency for highly original bands like R.E.M., The Red Hot Chili Peppers, and also The Arctic Monkeys, to steadily refine their music, ironing out rough punk edges and (unfortunately) also losing some of their original character in the process. This results in a blander, less harsh, less funny, more commercial sound, which is easier to listen to, and appeals to a much wider audience.

In the end, the process can refine out almost everything that made the band so special in the first place. The Arctic Monkeys have definitely not yet reached that plateau -- I would say that this album is the perfect combination of originality, energy and yet accessibility. That seems to be reflected in the title they've given the album.

"Favourite Worst Nightmare" was a tour de force, but got mixed reviews. Arctic Monkeys' brand of fast, furious rock with an almost live-in-the-club sound was not for everyone. On this new album they have slowed the pace, brought in some great melodies, and polished the arrangements. It will definitely appeal to a wider audience.

The surging energy of tracks like "I Want It All" and "One For The Road" are classical Arctic Monkeys rock, while "Do I Wanna Know," "R U Mine" and "Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High" are variations on the same set of musical phrases (all very addictive, will not get out of your head.) Overall, the album offers their most appealing collection of numbers yet. This is an album full of terrific songs, not a dud among them. A great band at the very peak of their power.

Highly recommended.
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on 3 March 2014
This albums thumps and grinds in swirl of rock and roll. The beats, the hooks, the bass-line catches you from the beginning on a rip-roaring ride. Lyrically this is an album filled with clever phrasing from a decidedly Northern and working class perspective, which explores those in-between relationship events, such as staying at a party in someone's house in the hope of getting off with them at the end of the night or phoning your loved one when you've had a few too many drinks. In this aspect the lyrics recall Pulp at their best, when the listener can identify with the thoughts and feelings of the narrator, and there is no trite cliche here. The melodies take you into unexpected corners and I often wondered how Alex Turner remembers all those words! I can't get those dirty riffs out of my head and I have been listening to this obsessively ever since I bought it. My only regret is having it on my wish list for months before I took the plunge. Buy it and buy it NOW!!!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 21 August 2014
I'm not a fan of their earlier stuff, bar one or two tracks, but this is amongst my top albums of 2013. It comes across as a band who's looked at their past work, and thought "you can tell we were kids when we wrote that". There's still songs about girls and nights out but there's a maturity here that was missing. And they've expanded the sound somewhat. These are songs that fill the room, as opposed to background songs on the radio.
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on 14 May 2015
Great artwork!! The artist is really good and brings out great songs! The record comes with a card as well which tells you all the words to the songs. The record cover is nicely made and the added bonus of the free music download in different formats! If you are looking at this, you know how great vinyl sounds unlike CD's and MP3s so go on and buy this! it wont let you down. I highly recommend you getting poly plastic covers to protect the artwork and don't buy PVC because PVC damages vinyl and the artwork and i would recommend getting poly paper sleeves to protect the vinyl from scratches and dust.

If you find this review useful, can you please click the helpful section below, Thank you.
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on 24 June 2014
More great stuff from Arctic Monkeys. Anyone who constantly harks back the first two albums (which were great too) just listen to them. Imagine a band doing the same album ad nauseum...terrible isn't it. They don't live in Sheffield now, or hang with scallies so get over it.

This is heavy, dense, funky, sly, sexy, utterly superb and reflects the wide range of music the band are obviously absorbing.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 13 September 2013
I've always been a huge fan of the Arctic Monkeys anyway, but when I rate 'AM' five stars, it's because that I honestly believe it to be a great album, and just as good, if not better as anything they have released. Whatever my own opinion, it's a real return to form.

After playing 'AM' continuously, I am even starting to hold it in the same regard as Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not, which is saying something considering what a debut it was, and one of my all time favourite albums. I certainly think that it is superior than their past two albums, which isn't saying quite as much, as good as they were.

As always, the melodies of the songs here are brilliant, and the lyrics, written by frontman, vocalist and musical genius Alex Turner are as sharp and meaningful as they have ever been. The sound is darker, the music is more mature, and although it isn't quite the same as their first two albums, every band has to evolve, and these guys are been evolving ever since the third album Humbug. I believe that the Arctic Monkeys are in a good new direction.

If you enjoyed the new singles (my personal favourite being 'R U Mine?), you'll find that the rest of album's tracks are of the same high standard, 'No.1 Party Anthem' is a highlight, 'Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High' is outstanding, and 'Snap Out Of It' is one to play on loop.

Well done boys, 'AM' is a strong record that should certainly should please the long-term fans. If you had lost a little faith in them over time, it should be fully restored once you hear their fifth album.
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 10 December 2013
OK, first off apologies for the star rating - no reflection on the album (which in mp3 form is great!), it's intended to highlight problems with how badly Amazon are wrapping/shipping the vinyl version. This review is therefore just for people thinking of getting the vinyl. I'll update the review and stars after Christmas by which time I hope to receive a replacement (though there is a good chance that may suffer the same damage as my first purchase). For now this is a heads up to anyone else thinking of buying a vinyl AM, or indeed any LPs from Amazon over Christmas.

Previously Amazon boxed and wrapped LPs pretty well. However, I now notice that this one is described as coming in "frustration free" packaging. Well, it was certainly easy to open because the packaging was so flimsy and damp that it easily unpeeled without even needing to tear any perforations in the thin card. Yes, mine arrived just wrapped in a single layer of thin and damp card, without any other cushioning or reinforcement and no mention the package was "records" or "fragile". Needless to say, when I received the LP on this otherwise dry night and after it had been out on the delivery run for about 10 hours, the package and record sleeve were both badly bent. I haven't even opened it, it looks so curved, so I requested a replacement. Having chatted with Amazon about this, Amazon say they cannot change the courier but "will make sure the drivers knows that this item is fragile". They also have not promised to improve the packaging which means there is a good chance the replacement will arrive in the same nick.

So, if you're ordering the vinyl, be aware that Amazon's packaging is nowhere near as protective as it used to be and if like my order yours is also intended to be a present, I'd think seriously about purchasing it some other way or allow good time to request a replacement. Also, don't make the mistake of downloading the mp3 version as soon as your purchase is confirmed as this will make it tricky to return and purchase elsewhere - I recommend waiting till you have an undamaged album in your hands.

Sorry to go on, but the whole idea of sending out vinyl "frustration free" seems really bad and may edge people who are buying Christmas gifts to buy elsewhere or maybe get the CD or download instead. I shall have to review something else soon to live up to my nick again.

UPDATE 10.01.14: My replacement vinyl AM turned out to be better packed, but the sleeve had been bent as if someone packing it had picked up the album by just one corner and waggled it. Ho hum, maybe I'm jinxed, still the vinyl itself was undamaged so I decided to flatten out the crease and keep it (as a present for a Monkey's fan...). I've updated the review to 4 stars since the vinyl album itself is really nice! The pressing is really heavy and thick (unlike many so-called 180g pressings these days), with little vinyl noise to it. The mastering is much more dynamic than the mp3 version I downloaded from Amazon's autorip, with plenty of bass. I've listened to it many times now. I wasn't a great Monkeys fan before buying this, and while my first impression was that the album was a bit too glum I've grown to love it. And even on my cheap system, the vinyl sounds hugely better than the mp3.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 4 October 2014
Well here was me chastising some 400 people who left blinding reviews for this album. I could wait no longer for the price to drop further and bit the bullet and paid more than I usually do for CDs in the eager anticipation to hear this album which has received not only more reviews, but also better rating than the Arctic's astonishing debut.

Well, I am not so impetuous as to make a firm judgement call on the first play of any album, but after about three plays, I was thinking 400 reviewers were nothing but mad. How could this album be better than Whatever people say I am... what were they thinking? I was very underwhelmed.

Move on 6 weeks later and perhaps 25 plays later and I have now seen the light! I guess I was guilty of the old-age sin of expecting the same and did not open my mind to acceptance of the new, more mature sound, but this truly is a stonkingly good album, maybe the best I have heard in half a decade. It flows brilliantly between more catchy tunes (not fillers) and a few out and out rousing songs, like 'Fireside', 'Arabella' and 'I want it All'. Intelligent, witty, super creative lyrics, and don't forget the lead singer is still only 24! Pure genius really.

You little Monkeys!!

Get this album and play it and play it and play it. You will not regret it!
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on 6 May 2014
A dark and moody masterpiece by the Arctic Monkeys, packed full of memorable set pieces that could all stand on their own as singles. One of those rare albums that has instant appeal and yet continues to reveal more and grow with subsequent listens. Definitely falls into the category All Killer, No Filler!
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47 of 63 people found the following review helpful
on 9 September 2013
Yes, I know many would gasp at the idea of any Arctic Monkeys album being better than their incredible debut. But that soundtrack of teenage life in early 21st century Sheffield is now more than 8 years old, and times and the band have moved on. Although that album is still one of my all-time favourites, this album shows just how much this band have evolved from the incredibly raw and infectious teenage prophets of indie rock, to the experimental indie rock gods of 2013. Despite their numerous changes in direction, they have managed to retain and cherish their original sound which broke chart records, whilst adding layers of groundbreaking composition genius! Expect sulky rhythms, hip-hop inspired lines, sexy and husky vocals from one of the most talented song-writers of our generation, all accompanied by falsettos and that trademark guitar riff. They still tell similar stories to the ones we loved on the first album, but with a newfound wisdom which makes them the UK's most talented Indie rockers.

Buy it, listen to it again and again, dispel your reluctance to let anything touch 'Whatever people say', and you'll realise this is their most defining and accomplished musical production to date.
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