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Arctic Monkeys: AM

The U.K.’s hype machine got it right in 2006 when it proclaimed Arctic Monkeys the next big thing.

“Not a buzz band anymore,” Sheffield, England’s fab four have become “something much more interesting: a good band,” said Ray Rahman in Entertainment Weekly. The U.K.’s hype machine got it right in 2006 when it proclaimed the young lads the next big thing. On their fifth album, recorded in their new hometown of L.A., “the dance-floor-ready post-punk of their early days has matured into a meatier, more assured sound.” Alex Turner’s “cocksure” vocals still lead the way, but AM also folds in “Velvet Underground melodies, Black Sabbath riffs, and playful grooves,” and “has fun doing it.” Turner has made his consistently smart lyrics terser to fit the change, said Ryan Dombal in Pitchfork.com. “Two of the album’s slinkiest and best tracks”—“Do I Wanna Know?” and “Knee Socks”—“have Turner sounding slyly wolfish” as he aims for seduction without promising much beyond it. At heart, he’s still “an avowed romantic living in an unromantic world,” so as a compromise, he’s taking what he can get.

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