In a time when artists are adapting to electronic musical fads, Arctic Monkeys stick to what it knows best – British pop-punk with an underground club feel – in their latest album, "AM."
And it is working. "AM," which was released today, sounds like a more polished version of their 2006 album, "Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not," which was the fastest selling debut album in British history with more than 350 thousand copies sold in the first week.
Arctic Monkeys has always known what it was doing, even from the beginning.
As the group's fame has grown, Arctic Monkeys has become synonymous with effortless cool. With lines in the band's new album like, "It's not like I'm falling in love/I just want you to do me no good/And you look like you could," bad boy rock permeates one of this year's sure-to-be top rock albums.
Although the band is slowly gaining mainstream momentum in the U.S., this group of rockers is no stranger to screaming groupies and a quick rise to fame in its native land. However, the Internet has launched the band into full stardom.
As the MySpace craze was at its peak, the former social media giant introduced the world to "I Bet You Look Good on the Dance Floor" and "Fake Tales of San Francisco," which became the underground anthems of Friday nights out.
Back then, punk amplified as the group's central theme, but as Arctic Monkeys matured, so did its formerly angsty sound. Overall, this album still fits neatly under the indie rock umbrella that the Arctic Monkeys has sheltered itself with, but in "AM," punk is mixed with splashes of early 2000's hip-hop grooves, reminiscing Outkast and Aaliyah as influences. Best put, lead vocalist Alex Turner has been quoted as saying the album is "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."
Turner's voice is beginning to mimic that of The Black Keys' singer, Dan Auerbach, while maintaining a slight British accent. Turner toured with The Black Keys in 2012, possibly explaining the similarities in tone and the addition of Turner's rock feel.
With "AM," Arctic Monkeys surprised fans with their single debuts. First, the appearance of the "R U Mine?" video on their YouTube channel followed with the first performance of "Do I Wanna Know?" in Ventura, Calif. this summer. Now, "Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High?" is making its rounds while the full album has streamed for free on iTunes until the album released today.
All in all, Arctic Monkeys have kept what made their mark: gritty underground rock that is suitable for the club scene. Their fan base is composed of angst-ridden teenagers, punk rockers and late night clubbers from across the pond and beyond. They'll be around for a while with their signature sound. The world just can't get enough of Britain's bad boy celebrities.