YAuthor: Jorge Ramos
Yes, yes, I know you as a listener don´t want to discuss this anymore, but we have to. The changes we’ve seen on the Sheffield born band are amazing, not surprising if you’ve followed them since the beginning, but quite mesmerizing if you only started to listen to this group thanks to AM. So yeah, you must realize that to get to “Tranquility Base, Hotel &Casino” they had to walk a long way.
(2006-2011) 5 years, 4 albums
Working with Domino Recording Company, they started off strong, their first album sold like crazy, “Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I´m Not”, went to become the best qualified album of the Arctic Monkeys on Metacritic. Thanks to its hard-fast guitar riffs, and their stories of young boys going out and talking about their nights.
Songs like “I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor”, or the “When The Sun Goes Down” are still in our playlist to remember us the actual craziness (at a young age) that is the nightlife for some. And they dominated 2006, after what “American Idiot” (2005) had done to the music scene. The album was the fastest selling debut album in British history.
Same reception and criticism received “Favorite Worst Nightmare” (2007), they kept their quintessential elements, and “Punk” sound to take it home again, its most famous songs. “Fluorescent Adolescent” had us shook, with an insane music video. “Teddy Picker” and “Brianstorm” were also top 10 singles in Europe.
And we get to that spot where the greatest changes happened. “Humbug” came with a slight set of changes and the influence of Josh Homme, the leader of Queens of The Stone Age, working in the production booth, accompanying James Ford, all-time producer of Domino’s and that has worked with the band since “Favorite Worst Nightmare”.
Critics said that Homme’s appearance was for the good of the band with the use of different instruments and vocal arranges but keeping the style that Arctic Monkeys had always had. By the way 3rd release, 3rd number one for the band.
2 years later, in June 2011 “Suck it And See” is released. Yeah, the album that was censored by the biggest stores in the US, because of its title.
This album did make the noise it was expected, but only because it was under the name of the Arctic Monkeys. The sound clearly changed it had gone in another direction.
Turner, the front man, went on the record to say that his ways of preparing this record had changed, that he would prepare the song and then work over that, instead of rough ideas. This was the worst record according to Metacritic. It had a positive qualification, but it was more intriguing than anything.
THE AM EXPLOSION
2013, 2 years since their last album and they drop the bomb that it is “AM”. It was only 1 point under their first two albums got, but it was a 41 minutes streak of tunes. We have to point out that to this day “Do I Wanna Know?” has over 645 million listens in Spotify alone, as the most listened song of the band, doubling “R U Mine?”.
Although it was the second single, it become the most notorious song of the band, and it’s been covered by Dua Lipa and Sam Smith. It also appeared in many shows, including in an episode of Peaky Blinders.
“R U Mine?” was the next single of the record, and because of the popularity of the band at that moment, it became the second most listened song on streaming platforms. Following up there are songs such as “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?”, “One for The Road” and “Snap Out of It”. Acting as a perfect continuation to the album.
Most critics concord that the changes that we saw in both “Humbug” and “Suck It and See” led to this and that the band finally figured it out.
TRANQUILITY BASE HOTEL AND CASINO
In 2018 and after 5 years of “AM” fans were craving for more of the Arctic Monkeys, but it was not what most of them were expecting. In fact, it divided a lot of the followers of the band. Even the critics thought it was not the way to go, Metacritic gave it a review close to “Suck It and See”, not a bad review in general, but not what most of us waited for.
Rolling Stone Magazine only gave it 2 out of 5 stars, titling “Adventurous British band put down their guitar for a weird lounge music detour”, adding that they are like “the restless artist who refuses to sit still in one sound too long” and after talking about the songs finished off by saying “They’ve tried a stylistic changeup, that doesn’t quite work. No shame in that. Sometimes restless artistry has a price”.
Altogether, fans are waiting to see what’s on the future of the British band. For now, we just need to hold our horses and enjoy what we have so far. As always: don’t believe the hype!