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Arctic Monkeys – The Car Album Review

“it’s a gorgeous album filled to the brim with harmonious melodies, stunning instrumentation and wonderfully poetic lyricism”

Arctic Monkeys – The Car Album Review 

Arctic Monkeys are one of the most extraordinary acts on the planet. They’ve had six albums at this point, all of which have had both critical and commercial acclaim, and as well as that, the band have sold out some of the world’s most prominent music venues and have headlined some of the world’s top festivals. This weekend, the Sheffield four-piece returned with their long-awaited seventh studio album, The Car, and there’s much excitement and anticipation ahead of it. Since the new direction posed on 2018’s Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino, no one knows what to expect from the band, but do they have any more surprises under their belt? Let’s find out…

Beginning with the lead single from the record, There’d Better Be A Mirrorball, and when I first heard this back in August, I thought this may be one of the best songs of the year. Two months late and I completely agree with that statement. The soothing ballad sounds like it should be on an 80s movie soundtrack, it’s smooth, it’s stylish, it’s sophisticated, it’s downright remarkable and makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up every single time I hear it, and it makes for a great album opener. I Aint Quite Where I Think I Am keeps with the album’s 1980s style of sound, and it’s produced beautifully. It has funky orchestration and is very much the definition of nu-nostalgia, sounding like it’s come out of a musical vault of incredible hits from past decades but yet sounds like something new and fresh. It’s wonderful, especially the string instrumentation used on the track. 

Sculptures Of Anything Goes goes into a darker sound with its atmospheric opening, and it sounds incredible and has some fantastic instrumentation running through it while frontman Alex Turner tells an intriguing story through his poetic lyricism. But that instrumentation is the real highlight of the track, bringing the whole song to life, making me think how the hell have Arctic Monkeys never been selected to produce a Bond theme? Meanwhile, Jet Skis On The Moat continues Turner’s wonderful lyricism mixed in with the rest of the band’s wonderful soft instrumentation, denoting that they don’t need to go big on indie-rock riffs or have a bombastic sound to get the listeners’ attention.

Body Paint is the second single from the record and it’s a perfect choice of single for what this album symbolises and is trying to do. Its orchestration and instrumentation sound excellent, though it’s certainly the final act of the song that makes it as amazing as it is, even showcasing some old Arctic Monkeys in there too, in their new sophisticated way and sound. Moving onto the title track of the album, The Car is all about the songwriting, which is performed wonderfully by Turner, but once again, the backing from the rest of the band is remarkable, with the standout being that beautiful string instrumentation and synthesisers being used throughout the track, mastered perfectly so that neither positive cancels each other out.

Keeping in with the 1980s 007-inspired sound, Big Ideas is a wonderful track that keeps up the fantastic lyricism written expertly by Alex Turner, but once again, the band accompany those vocals and that poetry perfectly, it does feel like this was lifted out of a time capsule for us all to reminisce. It’s gorgeous. Hello You has some of the old iconic Arctic Monkeys mixed in with the new sound, and wow! If there’s any way to fuse the old style that Arctic Monkeys were famous for making, mixed in with their new nostalgic sound, Hello You did it justice. It’s a treat for fans old and new, with wonderful production, band chemistry and vocals, I’m very impressed

Mr Schwartz is another of those songs that sounds like it’s been polished from the 1980’s music time capsule, with some gorgeous romantic lyricism from Turner very reminiscent of this era in time. The song is gorgeous, and I don’t know what else to say other than how romanticised it is and how it has the most gorgeous songwriting. The final track on the album, Perfect Sense finishes off this record perfectly, with a beautiful sound, poetic lyricism and wonderful chemistry between everyone involved in the song, it’s just fantastic.

So what do I think of Arctic Monkeys’ highly anticipated seventh release? I think that on the whole it’s a gorgeous album filled to the brim with harmonious melodies, stunning instrumentation and wonderfully poetic lyricism and is paced very well throughout its duration. The album as a whole works wonderfully, but on closer inspection, I do think that it doesn’t really add anything to what the band have done before. It doesn’t add the extra substance that the preceding six records had, but on its own, it’s a gorgeous, masterfully curated album that I’m sure will win a variety of awards and be very successful in the long run. Just for me personally, I wanted something a little bit more and have come away ever so slightly disappointed. 

Ranking: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Highlights:

There’d Better Be A Mirrorball

Sculptures Of Anything Goes

The Car

Hello You

Tracklist:

  1. There’d Better Be A Mirrorball
  2. I Aint Quite Where I Think I Am
  3. Sculptures Of Anything Goes
  4. Jet Skis On The Moat
  5. Body Paint
  6. The Car
  7. Big Ideas
  8. Hello You
  9. Mr Schwartz
  10. Perfect Sense