Album Reviews: Arctic Monkeys and Lorde

Vrinda Chauhan, Staff Writer

AM by Arctic Monkeys

In the opening line of the Arctic Monkeys’ breakthrough song, lead singer Alex Turner asks the girl across the room to stop making eyes at him. Now, nine years later in his new album, he’s drunk dialing that same girl at 3 a.m., hoping that, if he can’t bring her home, he can at least write a good song about her.

“AM,” released in September, is, without doubt, as Turner stated himself, the band’s most incredible album—that is not to say that the band it at its peak yet, of course. The best is yet to come, because the Monkeys never stop evolving. Nevertheless, the album is simply genius. With a combination of hop, indie, and rock styles, this new album breaks the mold of the band’s usual sweet-sounding, younger vibe. The album practically screams that shaggy hair and big brown eyes are out, while slicked back hair and cigarettes are in. With an all-American, unruly vibe, the album is truly different from anything the band has experimented with before.

The lyrics, however, retain their aura of romantic, senseless love. Though these lyrics are nothing unexpected from the band, I personally never tire of hearing Turner compare his lady to a horizon. As usual, the woman of interest is presented as mysterious, beautiful, and completely ruthless toward her lovers. And Alex, of course, is still pathetically in love with her, as described in the lines  “Crawling back to you/Ever thought of calling when you’ve had a few/’Cause I always do” in  song “Do I Wanna Know.”

Arctic Monkeys have never been a predictable band, but shedding their boyish charm to evolve into hunky men was a complete 180 for the band. And it seems to be working just fine for them, as they are gaining popularity every second.


Pure Heroine by Lorde

Twenty two seconds into Lorde’s album, “Pure Heroine,” the singer already announces she’s bored. Twice. With her overtly cynical attitude, Lorde has inevitably made a huge splash recently, not only with her earworm of an album, but also with her headstrong attitude; from refusing to tour with Katy Perry to calling out Nicki Minaj and Drake out on their “irrelevant” music, Lorde comes off as somewhat of an independent lady—well, girl.

The 16 year-old singer made her first debut with the ridiculously well-known “Royals,” and has since become the latest hype. With her sober—almost unkind—expression, she portrays herself as a dark, mysterious stranger, especially in the music video of the song “Tennis Court,” where the singer stares right into your soul with her taunting orbs of blue, burning a hole through the computer screen for an uncomfortable three and a half minutes. (I swear, her eyes really follow you.)

In terms of music, “Pure Heroine,” released in September, evokes shadowy tones of XX and Lana Del Rey.  Her sound isn’t anything particularly unique or too outstanding. It’s the same ol’ basic rhythm, catchy tune, and deeper, organic voice, eerily reminiscent of Del Rey’s music.

What distinguishes Lorde’s latest album, however, is the messages she carries in the music. She remains grounded (at least, according to the lyrics of her music), while other artists generally center their music on opulence, love, and themselves. “Ribs,” for example, talks about the fear of growing older, and “Royals,” surprisingly, about not needing money or fame to have a good time. Most of the songs featured in “Pure Heroine” have lyrics that are thought-provoking and relatable, and she manages to deliver it with her own unique style.

Though Lorde comes off as an oddball, her new album is refreshingly truthful and seems to be doing quite well.