Even when tossing their fans head-scratching stylistic curve balls over the years, four albums in, the Arctic Monkeys have miraculously managed to triumph over the intimidating pressures set by their massively acclaimed debut Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, with each new release balancing out an aim to experiment and mature beyond that early sound with just enough of the introductory effort’s nearly perfect indie rock charm and extraordinary songwriting smarts to keep most of the masses from having to run them off the music world grid with pitchforks in hand.
Of special note has been the stretched out singles campaign in the lead-up to fifth effort AM. From the crackling garage rock grit of last year’s “R U Mine?” to the seducing swampy stomp of “Do I Wanna Know?” and surprisingly soulful slant of “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?”, the band have yet again been carving out an exciting new edge within their sound, the slight urban traces and twisted, relationship-themed soliloquies engraved in each record giving a strong hint of the new album being yet another solid, best-of-year-ranking addition to their stellar catalog.
“Stop The World I Wanna Get Off With You” may not be an official part of AM‘s track-listing (it’s the B-side to most recent single “Call”), but it’s a record on par with the band’s current era output, capturing the band teasing out a heavy, sinister thump with notes of blues, funk and R&B (those background vox interjections!) to help frame another clever Alex Turner-scripted spin on love. This time though, he’s taking on more of a swoon-worthy lover-man role, pitching a plan with his latest lady crush love that involves them putting their busy day-to-day activities on hold for a romantic getaway with just them two.
That it comes jam-packed with Turner’s exquisite pen game (the titular line; “With the exception of you I dislike everyone in the room”; him describing the color of his partner’s eyes with a gorgeous “ice and sugar dust” illustration) easily makes it another Arctic Monkeys gem, but even more beguiling is the guitar-drenched swing he and his band mates throw down here, the blend of their previously established, dark Josh Homme-aided musical angles with a surprising sudden interest in more soulful terrains leaving us very anxious to hear how the “rock&b” leaning will further flourish in their coming work.