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Do I wanna know? If this feeling flows both ways...
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AM is the fifth studio album by Arctic Monkeys, released in 2013. It was a breakthrough hit and it allowed the Monkeys to penetrate the US market thanks to the hit singles “Do I Wanna Know?”, “Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High?”, and “Snap Out of It”. Exploring themes of sexuality and relationships, the album represents one of the band's more accessible records. Critics have noted that it was able to reconcile the band's signature Indie Rock sound with conventional material, and it is considered a comeback album of sorts after the band's experimental records Humbug and Suck It and See.

Drawing from a more mainstream repertoire, the composition of the music has been described as a fusion of more psychedelic sounds with Epic Riff-laden guitar hooks. The lyrics center on love and relationships, with a Hip-Hop edge and R&B rhythms added to the instrumentation. Josh Homme, who recorded backing vocals on "Knee Socks", even described it as an exciting, sleazy discotheque album of sorts. Indeed, AM wears its influences well; the band has cited David Bowie (particularly his Ziggy Stardust material), Velvet Underground, Black Sabbath, and even OutKast as inspirations for the record.

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This has drawn a more ambivalent response from the band itself, as they claim to have “sold out” for making their songs more accessible to a widespread audience. Nevertheless, the band has viewed the record as successful, even though they look to change their sound on future releases. Within a month of the album's release, NME listed AM as the #449 greatest album of all time.


Tracklist:

  1. "Do I Wanna Know?" (4:32)
  2. "R U Mine?" (3:20)
  3. "One for the Road" (3:26)
  4. "Arabella" (3:27)
  5. "I Want It All" (3:04)
  6. "No.1 Party Anthem" (4:03)
  7. "Mad Sounds" (3:35)
  8. "Fireside" (3:01)
  9. "Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High?" (2:42)
  10. "Snap Out of It" (3:12)
  11. "Knee Socks" (4:17)
  12. "I Wanna Be Yours" (3:04)


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Principal Members:

  • Alex Turner - vocals, lead and rhythm guitar, acoustic guitar, twelve-string guitar
  • Matt Helders - vocals, drums, electronic drums, percussion
  • Jamie Cook - lead and rhythm guitar
  • Nick O'Malley - bass guitar, backing vocals


Do I Wanna Trope?

  • Audio Adaptation: “I Wanna Be Yours” is actually a poem by English poet John Cooper Clarke that the band put to music.
  • Bait-and-Switch: “No. 1 Party Anthem” is actually a soft ballad instead of a rocking track, as one might expect. This was intentional.
  • Break Up Song: “Snap Out of It” is about a girl who can't get over her ex. The music video takes it Up to Eleven, as it reveals that the girl can't get over Alex Turner himself, and she fantasizes and grieves about him.
  • Convenient Slow Dance: “No. 1 Party Anthem” plays on this, since amid all the noisiness and flashing lights, the boy and girl in the song are still able to slow dance and have fun together.
  • Drowning Our Romantic Sorrows: “No. 1 Party Anthem” is about a conversation with a girl while drunk and how conversations seem to go more languidly:
    She's a certified mind blower
    Knowing full well that I don't
    May suggest there's somewhere from which I might know her
    Just to get the ball to roll
    Drunken monologues, confused because
    It's not like I'm falling in love I just want you to do me no good
    And you look like you could
  • Echoing Acoustics: Especially on songs such as “Knee Socks” and “One for the Road”.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": In the “Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High” music video, the girl in the video has Alex Turner's number saved as “Alex Band Guy”; clearly, she doesn't care that much for the Monkeys.
  • Fetish: “Knee Socks”:
    The ghost in your room
    That you always thought didn't approve of you knocking boots
    Never stopped you letting me get hold of the sweet spot by the scruff of your
    Knee socks
  • "I Want" Song: Unsurprisingly, “I Want It All”.
  • I'll Tell You When I've Had Enough!: In the video for “Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High?”, Alex Turner gets so piss-drunk that he doesn't take the hint from a clearly uninterested woman to stop calling her.
  • In the Style of...: Alex Turner has admitted that the shout-out to Thunderbirds in the first line of “R U Mine?” is done similarly to Drake and Lil Wayne, who use backwards metaphors to communicate lyrics.
  • Liquid Courage: Mentioned in “One for the Road”:
    One for the road
    So we all get back to yours and you sit and talk to me on the floor
    There's no need to show me round baby
    I feel like I've been here before
    I've been wonderin' whether later when you tell everybody to go
    Will you pour me one for the road?
  • Meet Cute: The intro to “Snap Out of It” has Alex Turner using cheesy pick-up lines to get close to a girl:
    What's been happening in your world?
    What have you been up to?
  • No-Tell Motel: Mentioned in “Fireside”:
    There's all these secrets that I can't keep
    Like in my heart there's that hotel suite
    And you lived there so long
    It's kind of strange now you're gone
  • Obsession Song/One-Woman Song: “Arabella”:
    Arabella's got some interstellar gator skin boots
    And a Helter Skelter 'round her little finger and I ride it endlessly
  • One-Word Title: “Arabella” and “Fireside”.
  • Oop North: Alex Turner's use of the word summat (the Sheffield way of saying something) is one of the few distinguishing, Northern England characteristics of his voice on this record.
  • Questioning Title?: “Do I Wanna Know?”, “R U Mine?” and “Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High?”
  • Quick Nip: “One for the Road”, as the title suggests. However, it's used more in the context of a Break Up Song:
    One for the road
    So we all get back to yours and you sit and talk to me on the floor
    There's no need to show me round baby
    I feel like I've been here before
    I've been wonderin' whether later when you tell everybody to go
    Will you pour me one for the road?
  • Serenade Your Lover: “I Wanna Be Yours”:
    Secrets I have held in my heart
    Are harder to hide than I thought
    Maybe I just wanna be yours
    I wanna be yours
  • Smoking Is Glamorous: Arabella apparently smokes organic cigarettes, which is kind of an Oxymoron.
  • Space Western: There's a clear “space cowboy” theme on some tracks such as “R U Mine?” and “Arabella”, which could lend to the insistent theme of bravado throughout the record.
  • Special Guest: Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age, who produced their previous album Humbug, provides backing vocals on “Knee Socks”. Pete Thomas of The Attractions is featured on a few tracks as well.
  • Surreal Music Video: The video for “Do I Wanna Know?” features an animation of the song being played on a wavelength, while the wave morphs into various images such as sexy ladies and cars.
  • Textless Album Cover: The cover has a picture of an AM wavelength.
  • Three Chords and the Truth: “Mad Sounds” is a more simplistic song, since it's one of the few built around the same chord progression and featuring vocal Scatting for its entirety.
  • Unusual Euphemism: In “Arabella”:
    (Wraps her lips) 'round a Mexican Coke
    (Makes you wish) that you were the bottle
  • Wanderlust Song: “Fireside”:
    There's all those places we used to go
    And I suspect you already know
    But that place on memory lane
    You like still looks the same
    But something about it's changed
  • What Did I Do Last Night?: “Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High?”:
    Now it's three in the morning and I'm trying to change your mind
    Left you multiple missed calls and to my message, you reply
    Why'd you only call me when you're high?
  • "When I'm Gone" Song: Mentioned in “I Want It All”, though it's more of an Angst-filled variation:
    And then suddenly it hit me
    It's a year ago
    Since I drank miniature whiskey
    And we shared your Coke
    Said ain't it just like you to kiss me
    And then hit the road
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz: “R U Mine?”, which itself could be a Shout-Out to Prince.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: “Knee Socks”. Alex Turner apparently finds them very sexy.

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