Arctic Monkeys Stun With Seventh Studio Album

Believe the hype.

Leah Tarwater, Reporter


Self-taught Sheffield band of four has released their seventh studio album, entitled ‘The Car’. After 20 years of rocking, their sound of suburban British angst may be long gone, but Arctic Monkeys continue to embody it. This time, the emotion is that of the ‘staring out the window like a music video vibe. 

Frontman Alex Turner mentioned in an interview that this record has more of the ‘AM’ album sound that many fans have enjoyed since 2013. Many fans, however, were expecting an extension of the ‘Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino’ sound. But, personally, if I had to consider ‘The Car’ as a continuation of any previous productions, I find it similar to Turner’s solo project ‘Submarine’ and possibly even pulling influence from The Last Shadow Puppets, Turners’ second band with Miles Kane. That being said, trying to tie this new sound down to the past would be unfair. This album masterfully showcases the maturity, experience, and max use of creativity and resources by the band. Turner’s expansive vocabulary hasn’t ceased yet, immediately starting the album off with words such as ‘subterfuge’ (which, for future reference, means “deceit used in order to achieve one’s goal”). The first two music videos that premiered for this record had many fans begging for Turner’s directorial film debut.

And, like any great album, some of the masterpieces are hidden gems; the songs that were never singles, the songs that no one talks about enough. This actually, is where much of my rankings mainly differ. Prior to the full album release on 21 October, tracks `There’d Better Be a Mirrorball,’ ‘Body Paint,’ and ‘I Ain’t Quite Where I Think I Am’ were introduced as singles, despite the fact that some may argue that those particular three aren’t exactly the strongest songs on the album. 


In order of appearance:

  1. There’d Better Be A Mirrorball: This song had me ascending since the 29th of August. The song begins with suspense and ends with a plea for both decor and decorum amidst heartbreak. ‘Mirrorball’ furthers my agenda that this album is one you could cry tears of joy to, cry tears of sadness to, confess your love to, or break up to.
  2. ‘I Ain’t Quite Where I Think I Am’ was heavily anticipated after the band performed it live before track titles were even announced. I was intrigued by the live concert recording of its first sneak peek, but unfortunately, I enjoyed it better in that 30-second clip than the full digital recording.
  3. Another highly anticipated track, amongst a multitude of Twitter users, was ‘Sculptures of Anything Goes.’ Much of the hype for this song was built solely on the song title. Although AM may have been reminding us since their origin not to believe the hype, the anticipation here paid off upon hearing the beyond unexpected ‘your mom’ joke by Turner.
  4. Drummer Matt Helders spoke to Radio X in an interview with John Kennedy about his love for jet skiing, and I think it’s fair to say that ‘Jet Skis On The Moat’ has done his love justice. This is a song that feels like floating in organ sounds and sailing on new classic riffs.
  5. ‘Body Paint’ is a track best performed live. Unfortunately, this is a track that took a few loops to love, but it’s hard to ignore the range of instrumental talent showcased in this track.
  6. Title track, ‘The Car,’ paints a vivid picture of a place we all feel we have been to before with its melancholic sense of not belonging and resentment for where you’ve ended up. The pairing of orchestral strings and Helders’ percussion is so stunning that it seems best to be listening to while laying on the ground in a puddle of slow-falling tears.
  7. ‘Big Ideas’ proves itself as one of the band’s best ideas. Locking listeners into the fright of being unprepared, but left with no choice but to continue, as the show must go on. Of all time, this chorus, both lyrically and musically, may be one of my all-time favorites. During the bridge, I might as well be driving into the sunset during an F1 race.
  8. Contrary to popular opinion: I’m going to have to say goodbye to ‘Hello You’. Give me a few more weeks, however, and perhaps I could see this track getting stuck in my head to the point that I have to hum it out.
  9. ‘Mr Schwartz’ “there might be half a love song in it all for you” could be the lyrical summary for this record as a whole, as I never know whether this album just fell in love or regretfully out of love with the listener.
  10. What more could I say about the final track, except that it only makes perfect sense to end such an emotional rollercoaster of an album with the strong sounds of ‘Perfect Sense.’ Every beat of every instrument is executed as though it knows that this is its final chance. I am honestly surprised that I could muster more than a single sentence for this song because it genuinely left me in a speechless trance when I first heard it. If there is any song that earns an immediate “YES”, this is it.