And I play it on repeat
Music has always played an irreplaceable role in my life. I always knew it would be valuable arsenal and it has unceasingly proved itself to be so, although even I could not begin to imagine the level of significance or literal life-saving potential of particular vibrations inflicted on the ear drum.
Throughout this unchartered journey, music has been omnipresent; even in its absence. During the long days of silence, it quietly lingered, serving as a painful and terrifying reminder of the brightness of a previous life, a collection of memories from a period of endless elation since extinguished. As the notes continued to crawl back into my senseless life, so it brought a return of emotion, empathy, a reintroduction to dance, a deflowering of the senses and the narrow possibility of being able to form new memories from out of the darkness in conjunction with a fresh soundtrack.
Following the inevitable period of forced nostalgia, my musical preferences then swayed towards sounds and genres as far removed from previous inclinations as audiologically possible. 'Is this the time for a trance awakening?' I pondered, manically driving down the M5 listening to Deadmau5, ideas of a life of stimulating sounds without lyrical significance or communicative guitar unravelling from my chaotic mind.
Needless to say, as with many of my thoughts, schemes and plans for survival during this time, they were soon disregarded with as much indifference as I bestowed upon each waking morning.
New albums came and went with a similar ebb and flow, nothing touching the sides or grabbing me by the balls as had previously been the case. Perhaps music, my faithful companion, would always walk alongside me but never again guide me to the earth rattling summit of yesteryear.
I was unforeseeably fortunate; beyond the possibilities of any existence...the joy of a thousand universes chose to cross my path. Music was there to accentuate the vibrations simulated by my other senses as a new tide washed in at the break of the year. Through the limitless medium of love and emotion, I was teleported back to the summer haze of a 17 year old; a blissful whirlwind of teenage bedroom walls, seas never previously sailed, stolen kisses and a once familiar world given a shining lick of technicolor paint. Such experiences require soundtracks, and it was certainly a surprise to me that my world began shaking and spinning to the masterful notes of Arctic Monkey's AM.
Fitting in many ways, perhaps most notably because during my chronological seventeenth year within this dimension, I spent hours swooning over the Arctic Monkeys as a revelation of musical greatness; an encouraging contemporary presence in the league of important musicians, the majority of which for me were long since passed or disbanded.
Funny then, that in 2015, as an exciting and stimulating world exposed itself to me, with all the wonder of not just having access to the portal into a second wave of teenage kicks, but a magical creature to share them with, that the Arctic Monkeys would be the record spinning in the corner while the madness unfolded.
Everything about their album AM is perfect. Everything from the binary artwork; a simplistic masterpiece which offers an ideal visual representation of what lies within; nothing at all unnecessary, with the musical and lyrical content of an album that has been downloaded directly from the cosmos.
Opening with 'Do I Wanna Know?', you are instantly taken into the seedy, sexy world of Alex Turner's late night philanderings, roaming the streets in a pent up rage of sexual dissatisfaction and unquenchable lust. The perfect soundtrack to nocturnal nights and the collision of two souls;
'Do I wanna know if this feeling flows both ways?'
'Do I wanna know if this feeling flows both ways?'
As the beautifully haunting and paranoid album continues to unravel its glittering threads, the predatory leers continue with 'R U Mine?'. A desperate lurch at love in a world where romanticism is dripping down the walls in an alloyed mess with creativity and self-respect. The addictive and blistering riff accompanies me daily, summoned either through the nearest speaker system or the fret board of my accomplice's Fender. The tangled loop of Alex Turner's resulting despair at being unable to answer the burning question 'R U Mine?' paves the way for the album's continued sinful throws of horny, bleary and frightful thoughts. As it soars on, the songs stay true to the Arctic Monkey's early material, yet a sleeker, more self-lacerating style is born, carried with the swagger and maturity of a band circling the peak of their creative mountain. As AM continues to surpass sweaty night clubs to the early hours, the newly leathered-up Arctic Monkeys bring their fresh take on the classic rock image and sound into a new era.
Jumping forward to the closing track; 'I Wanna Be Yours' is a painstakingly awaited response to the question of the opening two songs. A brilliantly modern use of prevalent commercialism, ironically stolen from 1982, to express the deepest love. A hypnotic monologue of lasting devotion, a battle cry for people to love each other more than their cars and domestic items. An absolutely perfect way to end the album; three minutes and four seconds of bliss that can only be followed by awestruck silence and a lustful kiss. Personally, there is currently no other song which conjures such joyful thoughts or so effectively encapsulates this golden period.
While my concept of time and space continues to be meddled with, it is bizarrely fitting that this adoration comes two years after AM's release date. Almost ten years too late to be the album that would sit securely in the hands of my seventeen year old prototype, and yet a divinely conceived soundscape for this journey. An album that slots comfortably and deservedly into the pantheon of records that I have chosen to carry through this life and have on regular rotation.