In a year marked by Lily Allen, Muse, and Hot Chip, the Sheffield foursome dropped their “tarted up” debut, spewing gritty street rock that amplified swagger and a hard-to-miss teenage lifestyle. Now with AM, the Arctic Monkeys have unboxed bits and riffs from their history just to remind us why it’s so hard not to adore them, what with the suave bass romps (“R U Mine?”), dimly lit pop numbers (“Knee Socks”) and candied guitars that undress and leave bite marks (“I Want It All”). As Alex Turner calls it, the LP’s lined with “girlfriend music” – a term you have to question when a large chunk of the record spots the frontman crooning for the cute bar belle next door. It’s Buddy Holly fan fic, sure, but it smartly accents the Monkeys’ capability to raise a fuss about Sabbath (“Arabella”) and rock the blues boat with sexed-up hooks (“One For The Road”, “Do I Wanna Know?”) on the same disc. Is it too straight-forward? Maybe. But Josh Homme be damned that these songs don’t aggressively grip the creases on your hips.
Listen: “Snap Out Of It”, “One For The Road”, “No. 1 Party Anthem” || Watch: “Do I Wanna Know?”