My guilty pleasure of recent months is this album, AM by the Arctic Monkeys. I’ve always had a bit of a thing for bands that sing in their own accents. I’m not sure why, maybe it just sounds/feels more authentic. I don’t know. But I bought this album not long after it came out on a whim, one late night or early morning on the way home from work. I stuck it in the CD player and then…never took it out for about 5 months. I’m not even joking.
Occasionally, I would take it out and put in another CD in from my vast collection. I’d get a couple of songs through something else and then think, no, I just have to list to AM again. And so, one-handed down the M8, I’d fish it out the side pocket of my car, and on it would go again.
What is it about this album that made me love it so much? Perhaps it’s the fact that I was working mostly really early or late shifts, leaving in darkness, coming home in darkness, always driving around in the murkiness and listening to this very after-dark sounding record. The whole vibe from start to finish is “late night after a night out” (apart from one or two mediocre numbers in the middle (Mad Sounds, track number 7, is always quickly skipped past. It has no place on this majestic beast of an album). That might be the Josh Homme influence. It is very QOTSA-y in places.
Or maybe it’s because it just has a slightly more grown-up sound to it from the previous albums. I remember the first time I heard Arctic Monkeys – it must have been about 9 years ago now. I was in the bathroom in our flat in Maryhill and I Bet That You Look Good On The Dance Floor came on the radio and it just sounded great and attention-grabbing. It is a silly song, but it was instantly a hit with me. I kind of drifted away from them in recent years, but this brought me back in and I couldn’t let go of it.
I am not sure why I feel such a deep sense of burning shame about this, but for some reason, I do. I’ve listened to this album so much that it’s come from one car to the other, across the new year boundary and is so worn out, it’s starting to skip a bit (on track 4, Arabella, which incidentally, is the latest single from the album. I didn’t like this song so much when I first heard it, but now think that the last verse, the one where it all speeds up a bit, is magical).
You’ll be pleased to hear though, that I’ve now managed to prise it out of my stereo in favour of the new Mark Morriss album, A Flash Of Darkness. It’s basically another Bluetones album and that can only ever be a good thing. Oh, and late to the party, I bought the Haim album the other day (Lee says they sound like Milli Vanilli doing the hits of Madonna).
If only I’d bought a car with a CD changer.