One of the most successful British Indie/Alternative bands ever. Arctic Monkeys originally came to the scene via the internet and have exploded ever since winning seven Brit Awards as well as being nominated for several grammy’s. So overall, that’s not bad going at all on their half. Their most recent album ‘AM’ (released 2013) has been described as the ‘greatest record of the last decade’. Arguably, the greatest record of their career. The band consists of Alex Turner on guitar/vocals, his Yorkshire accent shows through his songs which gives the band it’s unique, very gorgeous, sound. Matt Helders on drums/vocals. Jamie Cook and guitar and Nick O’Malley on Bass.
In my opinion, I don’t think I’ve ever heard a track by Arctic Monkeys that I dislike. I feel that people don’t really give them a chance after hearing about the hype of ‘AM’ and just assume they’re overrated. You could say that it’s overplayed, but ‘AM’ definitely deserves the hype it’s getting. It’s fucking biblical. I gotta say please listen to their other stuff too, because it literally is just as good. If not better. And I have to be honest, it wouldn’t be very difficult to fill this top 5 with purely ‘AM’ tracks, but there are plenty of other fucking amazing tunes they’ve produced. Remember, this is just my personal top 5 list.
#5: R U Mine? – AM
I thought we’d kick off the top 5 with my favourite track from ‘AM’. This was the first taster of the album to ever be released as a single and it won an award for best music video in 2013. This song is introduced with Alex Turner’s signature vocals with Matt Helders smooth backing vocals harmonizing together. Matt’s aggressive drumming as well as a strong bass riff, ingeniously created by Nick O’Malley, create a really successful rock track. The guitar part throughout the song gives it a both traditional and new wave rock sound, slightly manipulated to create a more bold, more electrifying sound that dances through your veins.
The aesthetic of the entire ‘AM’ album is one of the factors that makes it so successful. The vintage look of black and white music videos is a nice look for the Arctic Monkeys. But also the traditional sounds you’ll hear throughout the tracks like ‘Mad Sounds’ and ‘I Wanna Be Yours’. What I can only describe as traditional, but modern. They are set to release new stuff soon hopefully. But ‘R U Mine?’ holds the top spot for me.
#4: Fake Tales Of San Francisco – Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not
Taken from their first studio album, ‘Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not.’ This song is just classy. The opening and main body of the song is classy with simple guitar and bass riff accompanied with a steady drum beat. Alex Turner’s vocals as sophisticated as ever with this track, his accent making an appearance. The classy tune contrasts with the lyrics describing a night out. To me, ‘Fake Tales Of San Francisco’ is about pretending to be higher than you really are, being fake, “You’re not from New York City you’re from Rotherham.” All followed by a good slap in the face by the Arctic Monkeys screaming, ‘Get off the bandwagon’.
This song just fits the title of the album. It’s a good reminder actually, I’m not one who goes around whining about the fakers but it’s just like, everyone can tell you’re bullshitting so do you wanna pipe down? That’s what this song means to me, stop being all talk couldn’t have been said any better than the Arctic Monkeys.
#3: Crying Lighting – Humbug
Taken from the album ‘Humbug’. Aside from Alex’s long hair, this song has the feel of a heartwarming tale of an absolute bitch being a bitch to everyone. I actually really like the lyrics of the song, it describes a girl playing games and breaking hearts, without calling her a slag or objectifying her which is a bonus. I think ‘Crying Lightning’ could be the equivalent of crocodile tears (fake crying) but that’s my take on it.
Just like another typical great Arctic Monkeys song, it leads with a strong bass line throughout making it that extra bit edgy. But then the chorus hits you with this power with vocals climbing scales and clever words rhyming (“consisted of the strange and twisted and deranged”) and banging drums and aggressive guitar strumming by both Alex Turner and Jamie Cook. Not to mention that nice little guitar solo helping the final build up at the end. A really well put together song.
#2: Brianstorm – Favourite Worst Nightmare
Took me a while to realise its BRIAN storm, not Brainstorm. Not a lot of songs or reviews tend to focus on the drumming of a song. But Matt Helder’s work on Brianstorm is fucking talented. There’s just so much going on and I’ve looked at drum tutorials, I didn’t even attempt afterwards. The drums keep such a wild beat going, and just like the music video, it’s fucking mental to dance too.
The guitars are played really fast as well in what is described as surf rock, so this song’s pace is just insane and I love it. All the instruments just bounce off each other and collide with each other perfectly, especially the drums and bass guitar. The bridge in this song is my favourite thing as the vocals are jumping off each other while the drum is building up to the end. Brianstorm has earned place #2 because of the wildness of it all.
#1: Fluorescent Adolescent – Favourite Worst Nightmare
I feel like this song really represents who the Arctic Monkeys are and their true style. The song is daft and cheeky. The music video even more so with clowns and people beating the snot out of each other in one big melee. What more would you want from a video? It was a fucking nice change from half naked people dancing around, a true creative spark. The song is about how being young is fun and now that you’re older it’s well…less fun. Hence the clowns (young) attacking the men (old).
The chords used within the song are really positive and work with the bass climbing scales. The drumming also works to that upbeat melody and carries the songs pace, the way the chords are strummed also accompany the drum beat so he tune hits you even harder. This song to me and the band is one of their greatest pieces of work ever.
All this band ever seem to do is go from strength to strength. Let’s hope for more Arctic Monkeys greatness in the future.