AM (Arctic Monkeys) | 3.5/5
SINGAPORE - The early word on this latest offering from Sheffield’s favourite sons was that it was somehow a rap-metal album. Perhaps not, but the news that Josh Homme (Queens Of The Stone Age) had contributed to AM and frontman Alex Turner making references to Dr Dre beats somehow added fuel to that particular fire. However, Turner and company are hitting that sweet spot where soul/R&B grooves intersect with rock constructs, much in the same way the likes of Jimi Hendrix and Sly Stone managed wildly in the late ’60s. For one thing, Turner’s particular vocal inflections will always mark these numbers as Arctic Monkeys songs no matter how “disco” the music gets. Of course, tracks like R U Mine, Arabella and Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High are full of dance-able rhythms and metal riffs. For me, the heartfelt ballad that is ironically-titled No. 1 Party Anthem is where the action really is.