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.