On The car, Alex Turner and company. adopt big string arrangements, but go back to the disco depression that made the 2013s A M an instant classic
“How am I supposed to handle my infallible beliefs? Alex Turner calls for a brooding, creepy Moog. The song is “Sculptures of Anything Goes”, the third track of Arctic Monkeys‘ The carbut it could easily be a line from their 2011 classic A M, containing the same disco depression and lounge bravado he experienced nearly a decade ago. But we’re now on a darker post-pandemic dance floor, which Turner instantly confirms in this 37-plus-minute evening: “So if you wanna walk me to the car/I’m sure I have with a heavy heart / So can we be absolutely sure / that there is a disco ball for me?”
Turner continues to ask a lot of questions about this record, from the sexy “Jet Skis on the Moat” (“Is there something on your mind or are you just happy to sit there and watch the paint job dry ?”) to the indie stunner “Hello You” (“Still draggin’ out a long goodbye?”). The the answers remain elusive. But the band’s musical purpose shines through clearly in the elegant strings and subtle riffs skillfully weaved throughout the album, resulting in the most mature work the band has ever released. The last time Turner sounded this passionate was in 2011 Submarine, his first solo EP recorded for Richard Ayoade’s film of the same name. His voice cuts like a crisp autumn wind, and he comes across as a wry but hopeful lounge singer in much the same way Father John Misty does on Chloë and the following 20th century (Theme of 2022: the Rat Pack Revival).
On the climax “I Ain’t Quite Where I Think I Am,” a guitar floats around a drum machine in a whimsical daze that makes it the kind of disco gem that only Jesse Ware could cover (and should). If the second half of the record drops out at all, pick up “Big Ideas,” a hypnotic reflection where Turner sits down and brings the strings to the fore. “I had big ideas,” he sings. “The band was so excited / The kind you’d rather not share over the phone.”
A M was so heartbreaking it looms over Sheffield rockers and their fans, but unlike 2018 Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino, The car seems to be its true predecessor. No one spills drinks on their couch, but there are hints of A Mstyle guitar and leather-clad coolness that were missing from Basis of tranquility. “I’m not saying we’re never going to do anything a bit like Sabbath again,” Turner said. tell us. With The car, we are about to get a “Sweet Leaf”.