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Arctic Monkeys — AM (2013)

 Arctic Monkeys — AM (2013)

Arctic Monkeys — AM
A wickedly thrilling fifth album from Alex Turner and company...
Location: Sheffield, England
Also known as: The Death Ramps
Album release: September 6 (AUS), 9 (FRA, GER, UK), 10 (Poland, USA), 2013
Recorded: March ÷ June 2013; Sage & Sound Recording, Los Angeles and Rancho De La Luna, Joshua Tree
Record Label: Domino
Duration:     41:46
Tracks:
01. Do I Wanna Know?      (4:32)
02. R U Mine?      (3:22)
03. One For the Road      (3:26)
04. Arabella      (3:27)
05. I Want It All      (3:04)
06. No. 1 Party Anthem      (4:03)
07. Mad Sounds      (3:35)
08. Fireside      (3:01)
09. Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?      (2:41)
10. Snap Out of It      (3:13)
11. Knee Socks      (4:18)
12. I Wanna Be Yours (Turner, John Cooper Clarke)      (3:04)
≡   All songs written and composed by Alex Turner, except where noted.
Personnel:
Arctic Monkeys:
≡   Alex Turner — lead vocals, lead and rhythm guitar; twelve-string guitar on "Do I Wanna Know?"
≡   Jamie Cook — lead and rhythm guitar, drum machine on "I Wanna Be Yours"
≡   Nick O'Malley — bass guitar, vocals
≡   Matt Helders — drums, vocals
Additional musicians:
≡   Josh Homme — vocals on "Knee Socks" and "One for the Road"
≡   Bill Ryder-Jones — guitar on "Fireside"
≡   Pete Thomas — drums on "Mad Sounds"
Production:
≡   James Ford — producer
≡   Ross Orton — co-producer
≡   Ian Shea — engineer
≡   Tchad Blake — mixing
◊   AM, Arctic Monkeys’s fifth studio record, will be released on September 9 and features 12 tracks.
◊   Produced by James Ford, the album features appearances from Queens of the Stone Age front—man Josh Homme plus former The Coral member Bill Ryder—Jones and Elvis Costello’s drummer Pete Thomas. The words of punk poet John Cooper Clarke appear on the track ‘I Wanna Be Yours’.
◊   Alex Turner described the album as sounding “like a Dr Dre beat, but we’ve given it an Ike Turner bowl-cut and sent it galloping across the desert on a Stratocaster”, adding that it “sound less like four lads playing in a room this time. Essentially, that’s what it is, but if you can find a way to manipulate the instruments or the sounds to the point where it sounds a bit like a hip-hop beat that’d be boss in your car, then I think there’s something quite cool about that.” Turner also cited Outkast, Aaliyah and Black Sabbath as influences.
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Album title:
◊   In an interview with Zane Lowe on BBC Radio 1, Arctic Monkeys frontman Alex Turner said that the album title was inspired by the Velvet Underground's 1985 compilation album VU. "I actually stole it from the Velvet Underground, I'll just confess that now and get it out of the way. The 'VU' record, obviously," he said. "Did we cop out? Yeah! Summat about it feels like this record is exactly where we should be right now. So it felt right to just initial it."
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REVIEW
SIMON HARPER / 27 · 08 · 2013 / Score: 8/10
◊   Five albums in, and things are getting kinda sinister for Arctic Monkeys.
◊   Welding inspiration from hip-hop greats with rock’s titans, ‘AM’ is built upon portentous beats that are dark and intimidating, yet wickedly thrilling.
◊   ‘Arabella’, for example, suggests Led Zeppelin covering Easy-E’s ‘Boyz-n-The-Hood’. Meanwhile, the Josh Homme-featuring ‘One For The Road’ borrows the “whoo whoos” from the Stones’ ‘Sympathy For The Devil’ and evokes its fiendish undertones.
◊   The danger level is emphasised by Alex Turner’s typically caustic lyricism, so sharp and intricate in its detail, focus, and imagery.
◊   In opener ‘Do I Wanna Know?’, he sings the beautifully bittersweet line: “There’s this tune that I found / That makes me think of you somehow / And I play it on repeat / Until I fall asleep.” He then counters it with the fabulously mundane: ◊   “Spilling drinks on my settee.” And against the stomping glam rock of ‘I Want It All’, his falsetto is distinctly unnerving.
◊   So, there’s heavy-hop, there’s glam, there’s the dense Lennon-like ‘No. 1 Party Anthem’, and there’s shades of the Velvets in ‘Mad Sounds’ and the haunting closer, ‘I Wanna Be Yours’.
◊   All of these stylistic inspirations make ‘AM’ an invigorating experience. It continues the band’s playful diversion from the Mojave-darkness of ‘Humbug’ that ‘Suck It And See’ heralded.
◊   Left incited and excited by the naughty aggression of ‘AM’, an appropriately suggestive message to the album from the listener can be gleamed from ‘No. 1 Party Anthem’: “I just want you to do me no good.” (http://www.clashmusic.com/)
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ALEX TURNER
◊   Alexander David "Alex" Turner (born 6 January 1986) is an English musician, singer and songwriter. He is the lead vocalist, guitarist and main songwriter of the English indie rock band Arctic Monkeys.  Turner has also recorded with a side-project called The Last Shadow Puppets and as a solo artist.
Instruments: Vocals, guitar, keyboards, tambourine, baritone guitar, drums, bass guitar
Notable instruments:
◊   Fender Stratocaster
◊   Fender Bronco
◊   Fender Jazzmaster
◊   Ovation Viper
◊   Gibson Les Paul
◊   Vox Starstream
Personal life:
◊   Turner had a two-year relationship with then-Goldsmiths College student Johanna Bennett from 2005 to 2007. He had a four-year relationship with television presenter Alexa Chung from mid-2007 to mid-2011; they divided their time between London and New York City. Turner has been dating Arielle Vandenberg since August 2011; the two live in Los Angeles together.
Solo work:
◊   Turner wrote and performed all six tracks for the soundtrack for Submarine, the first feature film by Richard Ayoade, a friend and director of various Arctic Monkeys music videos. The soundtrack was released on 18 March 2011 in the UK and US.
◊   According to Matt Helders, speaking to NME magazine, Turner recorded a new solo track after the R U Mine?/Electricity sessions.
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©  Alex Turner of the Arctic Monkeys performing at Edgefest 22 in Dallas, TX on April 22, 2012. Author: SxAnthony
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Arctic Monkeys — AM (2013)

 

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