#2 – Arctic Monkeys – AM
While the Arctic Monkey’s popularity in the U.S. has never taken off as much as other artists from the U.K., they have been putting out high-quality music since the beginning of their still young career. 2013’s AM is no exception. In fact it might be one of their best releases to date.
Arctic has come a long way since the garage-rock days of Whatever You Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, with an ever-evolving sound from record to record. Most noticeably, AM is extremely sexual sonically and even more so, lyrically.
If you listen to Arctic’s full catalogue, you know that front man Alex Turner has quite a way with words. Throughout the entire album we listen to him tell a story about a lover, but not in the way that many artists do. He goes through the meetings, the regrets, the wants, the needs, and even the heartbreak with swagger. “Do I Wanna Know?” invokes that common feeling of a song reminding you of that special someone and hoping they have a thought or maybe a song for you too. There’s the let down of missing out on an opportunity on “One For the Road” and “No. 1 Party Anthem.” Mix in “Arabella” expressing the feeling you get when you have the perfect lover next to you for even the simplest of moments. The sequence of lyrics about how “My day ends best…” during the “War Pigs”-esque chorus is one of my favorite things that Alex Turner has ever written. “Mad Sounds” talks about how something so simple can always catch your attention with ease and hit you like a sack of bricks.
I could go through and describe how every song on this album fits together so perfectly, but I’d rather just have you listen, on repeat, because it definitely takes a few times through to catch every little thing that makes AM deserving of a top spot on anyone’s Best Albums of 2013 list. – Koltes
Other accolades: #1 on NME, #4 on MOJO, #9 on Rolling Stone, #42 on Amazon, #45 on Consequence of Sound