Arctic Monkeys’ “The Car” proved to me that I shouldn’t waste time listening to their other music


The Car studio album cover by Arctic Monkeys, released Oct 21, 2022

In a perfect musical world, lead singer Alex Turner would have a better voice. 

Only being exposed to very few songs by Arctic Monkeys—such as “505” and “Only Ones Who Know,” I didn’t have an expectation for The Car before playing it; however, I still happen to be disappointed despite my unbiased approach. 

On Oct. 21, 2022, indie band Arctic Monkeys released their seventh studio album: The Car. They aren’t a band that I turn on often, but if a popular song by the group comes on, and I happen to know and like it to an extent, I won’t skip to a song that I am more comfortable singing along with. With this, I wasn’t antithetical to listening to their new release. In fact, I was eager to see if this would help me discover more of their music as opposed to the two or three songs I had previously known. But, I am now stuck wondering why I would waste a good 37 minutes of my time listening to one of the most mediocre albums that I have ever heard. 

“There’d Better Be A Mirrorball” – Track One

Light drums and a ride cymbal accompanied by a faint melody are what opened the album. The only word I have to describe the feeling in the first 30 seconds is relaxation; however, it was quick to end—quite abruptly, in fact. The song rested for a moment, and then, a quick accented chord came through, followed by a few more that created a rhythm. Before entering the original groove, Turner led the song with his voice. 

I was quite confused by the song in the beginning. The song seemed to jump back and forth between what it wanted to sound like in genre terms. Although, after letting it play for a moment, I soon got over it and let myself enjoy it a bit. Not entirely did I go back to that early feeling of relaxation, though, because I was still a little on edge about the unneeded effects added to the song. 

“Sculptures Of Anything Goes” – Track Three

A slow, synth pulse started the third track of The Car. Immediately, the song became dull and unexciting. As it progressed, Turner began to sing extremely odd lyrics. Turner’s singing feels forced as though he didn’t take a big enough breath before he sang. It could be a stylistic decision, but it sounds like he’s restraining his voice. 

Because this song didn’t have much to give, I don’t have much to say about it.

If I’m putting it straight, this was the worst song on The Car. It’s empty and drags on for a much longer time than needed. The music arbitrarily stopped at points; as I was listening to this song for the first time, I thought my phone might have glitched out and paused the music. But, a quick moment later, the lifeless beat continued on. Because this song didn’t have much to give, I don’t have much to say about it. 

“Body Paint” – Track Five

A sweet, melodic tune presented the fifth production of The Car. I was quickly impressed by how gentle it sounded in comparison to the other songs on this album so far. Unfortunately, as predicted, my liking of the song exponentially decreased as soon as Turner started to sing. Reaching almost five minutes, I felt as if I was in a loophole of terrible music with no possible escape. 

Turner’s singing in this song felt a bit out of key. The lyrics had little to no meaning or no thought behind them whatsoever—for example, “and if you’re thinking of me, I’m probably thinking of you.” 

It doesn’t take much to prove that the album wasn’t terrible, but it isn’t worthy of a replay. The Car is an amazing example of this: few tracks were awful, a couple of them were bearable, and even fewer are songs I would listen to while I’m doing busy work. 

The Car was extremely mediocre. The lyrics took almost no thought to write, and some of the musical effects that were added to define certain songs were completely unnecessary. Turner’s voice doesn’t fit any of the songs, making the tracks promoted on the new album not flow together as much as they should.

I had hoped to find new music when turning on The Car, but all I found was music to avoid.