Ranked: Arctic Monkeys

Arctic Monkeys are one of british indie rock’s best success stories of the 21st-century. Their debut album became the fastest-selling debut record in British history, mainly due to a large Internet following and huge hype preceding the release. Throughout their ten-year tenure, the Sheffield-born band have gone through many, sometimes polarising stylistic changes. Here is my ranking of their discography.

 

[5] Suck It and See (2011)

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Their fourth LP followed ‘Humbug’, an album that saw one of the most significant and polarising stylistic shifts of recent times. Suck It and See is the Monkeys’ weakest album because of its latter half; it becomes redundant. There are multiple soft, uninteresing, poppy cuts that go on to close the record, in turn dampening the impact and vibe created from the very solid first half which contains some excellent individual tracks. Suck It and See seemed to be the band playing it safe following their previous stylistic change, although it set up a good foundation for SIAS’s follow-up.

Essential tracks: She’s Thunderstorms // Library Pictures // All My Own Stunts

 

[4] AM (2013)

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Their fifth and most recent LP regained fans’ loyalty following the rather hit and miss nature of Suck It and See. Described by Alex Turner as a “after midnight record”, it’s style and groove throughout is largely consistent. AM contains the band’s most refined sound, demonstrating a natural progression from the raw indie rock of their debut to this more confident, radio-friendly outfit. Featuring hit singles ‘Do I Wanna Know?’ & ‘R U Mine?’, AM is a good record, yet it takes fourth place due to it suffering from some padding in the latter half of the tracklist, although nowhere near as severe as SIaS’s.

Essential tracks: Do I Wanna Know? // Arabella // Knee Socks

 

[3] Favourite Worst Nightmare (2007)

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Arctic Monkeys’ second album continued much of the winning formula it’s predecessor concocted. FWN possessed a fuller, rockier sound than the debut and generated many fan favourites such as ‘Brianstorm’, ‘Teddy Picker’ & ‘Balaclava’. It’s a great romp from start to finish and whilst sounding a lot like the debut, it achieved widespread acclaim.

Essential tracks: Teddy Picker // Fluorescent Adolescent // Old Yellow Bricks

 

[2] Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not (2006)

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The debut album from the Sheffield lads took the British music industry by storm. Alex Turner’s witty and calculated observations of local nightlife were expertly transitioned into brilliant and catchy riff-based tracks. Turner’s honest and palpable opinions were a subject of mass relation with British fans, which in turn instantly catapulted the band into total stardom. Technically, this is Arctic Monkeys’ best album, yet there’s just one in my opinion that cannot be topped.

Essential tracks: Fake Tales of San Francisco // Dancing Shoes // A Certain Romance

 

[1] Humbug (2009)

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Their third record, Humbug was a massive stylistic change for the band. Relocating to the California desert with Josh Homme co-producing the album, the band swapped out their raw indie punk for slow chugging stoner/desert rock. Now, the reason why I am a huge fan of this record is largely due to Homme’s clear influence on their sound. Turner trades in his fast vocal deliveries for more groany, husky vocal performances. Coupled with the slower tempos and heavy grooves, it makes for a brilliant dynamic. The band sure had some balls to put this record out following their prior two albums, although they would not be where they are today if Humbug had not shaped their last two offerings.

Essential tracks: My Propeller // Dance Little Liar // Pretty Visitors

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