Imagine atop a rooftop parking garage sits a white, isolated Toyota Corolla – that is the image the listener sees when first looking at the album’s record cover. The record cover is mysterious and strange, but frankly, all part of the band’s story of this record. The English rock band, the Arctic Monkeys, return with an epic release titled ‘The Car’ compared to their previous releases. The album opens with the dramatic first single, “There’d Better Be a Mirrorball,” as lead vocalist Alex Turner delivers smooth vocals over rhythmic piano and drums.
The band’s game-changing 2006 debut, ‘Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not’ and their 2013 album, ‘AM,’ both deliver a great soundtrack into the band’s previous discography, the new record, is an excellent showcase of their songwriting, musicality, and innovation. The four-piece delivers an excellent funk-rock piece on “I Ain’t Quite Where I Think I Am” that showcases an infectious guitar riff from lead guitarist Jamie Cook. One thing to note is that the band “pick up where they left off” from 2018’s ‘Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino.’ ‘Tranquility’, perhaps, left something yet to be desired. It could be considered a Turner solo record, but on ‘The Car’ Matt Helders, Jamie Cook, and Nick O’Malley are as present as ever. The last album went from being razor-sharp guitars on ‘AM’ to spacey-pop-rock on ‘Tranquility.’ Perhaps, Turner sings in the best: “Puncturing your bubble of relatability with your horrible new sound.”
‘The Car’ features some of Turner’s best delicate, vocal performances of his career and the album is one of the band’s best of their career. The guitar instrumentation in “Jet Skis On The Moat” is fantastic – absolutely epic and well-written.
Perhaps, the next track, “Body Paint,” showcases the band’s best work, a 70’s inspired track, and features each member of the band at its best, complete with an 18-piece string section. The arrangements were composed by Turner and produced by James Ford and Bridget Samuels. This track features some excellent guitar instrumentation from Cook and gentle vocals from Turner. The delicate keys and string section pull together the vibe of the song and truly pull it full circle.
‘The Car’ truly is the Arctic Monkeys best album to-date. It’s epic, features sharp songwriting, unending innovation, and terrific arrangements and production. They impress on this record and continue to improve.
Pre-order The Car by Arctic Monkeys HERE
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