Arctic Monkeys – AM: #841 of best 1,000 albums ever!

Arctic Monkeys - AM

Why is Arctic Monkeys’ AM on my best 1,000 albums ever list?

I’ll call it up when I’m… in any number of states.

What does Arctic Monkeys’ AM mean to me? What does it make me feel? Why is it exciting or compelling?

“Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High” is a perfect rock song. It’s at once timeless and yet feels new and strange (in a good way): dark, a little bit slinky, sexy, slightly dangerous, a little sleazy even (again, in a good way). And it has a simple/brilliant chorus that encompasses those exact same vibes: Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?

The more I listen to AM, I’m increasingly drawn to the slower numbers. “I Wanna Be Yours,” “Mad Sounds,” and “No. 1 Party Anthem” are all fantastic pop-y numbers with really compelling slow rocker vibes. Here’s “No. 1 Party Anthem,” my favorite of the trio.

For some reason it reminds me a little of one of my favorite Blur songs, “Death of a Party.”

And then crank things back up with a straight up (I think?) Black Sabbath homage in the fun hard rocking, “Arabella.”

Personal stuff that has something to do with AM

Even though “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High” ostensibly is about someone who… well, you know the song if you know the song. But there’s something more universal about it too, as with so many great songs. I’d wager it’s also about when someone you have feelings for doesn’t return those same feelings. They might have feelings, maybe even strong feelings, but it’s based on their own agenda and their own needs, which may or may not wildly mismatch what you want. What you need.

And that’s maybe not even “good” or “bad.” It’s like The Irishman says: sometimes it is what it is. And it’s up to you to figure out what to do about it.

This takes me back to my junior year of college at Binghamton University, a pivotal year for me in many ways. I broke up with my girlfriend early in the fall semester, someone who was my true first love and someone I cared deeply for, but (and there’s the but!) I recognized I was too young to settle down and, well, I was in college man, you know?

So I was young and single and still very naïve about romantic relationships outside of the remarkably successful one I had just ended. And I also had taken on a role as a Resident Advisor (or good old “RA,” for short) in the dorms, which was a big deal for me in terms of breaking out of my relatively reserved shell, taking on some responsibility, and so forth.

Oh, and yes, I had fallen in deep like (read = crush) with a fellow RA who happened to have a boyfriend in Europe. We became close friends. Very close friends, in fact, without ever quite becoming romantically entangled. At some point, I realized I had become something of a surrogate boyfriend to my friend/crush, and needed to back away.

In other words: why’d you only call me when your boyfriend’s in Europe?

Some stats & info about Arctic Monkeys – AM  

  • What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Rock Music, Alternative Rock, British Bands, Indie Rock
  • Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – #346
  • All Music’s rating5 out of 5 stars
  • When was AM released? 2013
  • My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #841 out of 1,000

Arctic Monkeys’ AM on Spotify

What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?

Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.

But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective take on what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.