Review: ‘The Car’ by Arctic Monkeys is another example of the band’s consistent growth

Review: Review: 'The Car’ by Arctic Monkeys

The Arctic Monkeys have indeed “conjured up wonderful things” with their newest album
Published: October 23, 2022
The Arctic Monkeys released their seventh studio album, 'The Car,' on Oct. 21, 2022.
Arctic Monkeys released their seventh studio album, 'The Car,' on Oct. 21, 2022.

If you liked the singles “There’d Better Be a Mirrorball” and “Body Paint,” then you will like the rest of Arctic Monkeys’ newest album The Car, because all 10 tracks are just different fonts of the same song.

But personally, I am not mad about it.

“There’d Better Be a Mirrorball” has been my go-to song this fall. It’s eerie, sad, and perfect for the time of year it was released. The whole album shares its haunting essence, and this is the natural outcome of Alex Turner’s voice paired with the slower tempo of these songs. It’s like he’s telling us a scary story, and I love it. The band definitely knew what they were doing by releasing this album a week before Halloween.

The old Vox 12 String guitar that makes the riffs in “Do I Wanna Know?” so powerful is dusted off and brought back out for many of these new songs. This, in combination with the heavy use of strings, gives the tracks a dark orchestral sound. The vibe of the set is “Do I Wanna Know?” but groovier, calmer, and with more creative instrumentals– the grooviest song being “I Ain’t Quite Where I Think I Am,” and the eeriest being the track that follows, “Sculptures of Anything Goes.”


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The similarities in the melodies and vibes of the songs in this album help emphasize the lyrics. With the consistent sound, the audience has to pay more attention to what Turner is saying in order to differentiate between each track. And the stories painted by these lyrics feel like fever dreams. It’s the kind of music that I would love to listen to in the comfort of my own home, but I’m not sure I’d see it in concert.

“The Car,” the album’s namesake, envelopes you with a sense of nostalgia by referencing memories of family vacations over the light fingerpicking that sounds like an onomatopoeia of a flashback. As the name suggests, the character in “I Ain’t Where I Think I Am” is dazed and confused, wandering around a party filled with flashing lights and strangers. “Big Ideas” is a story of a musician overwhelmed by and drowned in his art. The confusion and mystique of the album’s plot leave the listener feeling like they are coming along for the ride in Alex Turner’s tales of disorientation. You really feel like you’re traveling “vortex to vortex” between songs, as sung in “Hello You,” the eighth track of the album.

What I love about the Arctic Monkeys is that they are a band that grows up as we do. Other artists seem frozen in time, stuck in a younger age than they – and we – really are (Taylor, I love you, but I’m looking at you). The Arctic Monkeys mature with their fans, so I don’t feel I’ve outgrown them. Songs like “Fluorescent Adolescent” and “When the Sun Goes Down” will always be there if I need a healthy dose of nostalgic angst. Still, for my day-to-day soundtrack as someone who is older and hopefully wiser than I was when Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not was released (2006), The Car just fits. Maybe it’s because I am now a sadder person than an angsty one, but that’s a conversation for my therapist, not The NewsHouse.