It’s been a big fall for new album releases and a comeback of sorts for several artists, including the Arctic Monkeys, who released their seventh studio album, The Car on October 21st. The last Monkeys release came in 2018 with Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino. Throughout the last 9 years, since the release of their most successful album to date, AM, their sound faded from alternative/indie rock to lounge music.
Alex Turner’s voice has always been that of a crooner, but earlier Arctic Monkeys music feels like a full band experience from Turner’s vocals to Matt Helders’ drum beats to Nick O’Malley’s bass lines and especially to the unique and edgy riffs from Jamie Cook and Turner, himself. The Arctic Monkeys had such an established alternative/indie rock sound that has depleted over the last several years. According to Turner, it isn’t changing either. That being said for someone like me who found a great enjoyment in the Arctic Monkeys’ earlier records, this album is tough to get into.
I think you have to be in a certain type of chill space to take in so many of these lounge pop tracks that sound straight out of a 1960’s speakeasy. The music has such a dark, dreamy, and nostalgic feel, which isn’t something that hits for me. If there was any stand out song on this record I really like, it’s “Body Paint,” from the lyrical references of deception to the faint remnants of old Arctic Monkeys songs.
The Arctic Monkeys are currently playing some international fall dates and festivals in support of The Car with worldwide dates planned for 2023. Thankfully with seven studio albums, their set lists span across the last 20 years of their existence so we’ll likely be hearing all the hits, both new and old. And yes I do plan on seeing them play a full set this time around, compared to my brief Arctic Monkeys experience while working their show at Forest Hills in 2018. As for this new record, unfortunately, this is an album you might want to skip unless you’re a big Monkeys fan or prefer the style of music they’ve grown into.