Arctic Monkeys’ new album, ‘The Car’, as ranked by us

Arctic Monkeys’ new album, ‘The Car’, as ranked by us | Soho House

From songs that ‘Ain’t Quite Where They Think They Are’ to ones that make ‘Perfect Sense’, David Levesley rates the band’s latest release

Friday 21 October 2022   By David Levesley

As a long-time The Last Shadow Puppets stan – but also as someone who is of the age that means ‘Fluorescent Adolescent’ is my national anthem – I’ve always felt a little guilty for wanting Alex Turner to lean more into being a James Bond theme tune composer. But on The Car – the band’s seventh studio album, out today (21 October) – they do it with such aplomb, I don’t think anyone will mind my manifestation coming true.
But among all that brilliance, they are (to my very objective mind) songs that ‘Ain’t Quite Where They Think They Are’, but also some songs that make ‘Perfect Sense’. This is our ranking of The Car.

Arctic Monkeys’ new album, ‘The Car’, as ranked by us | Soho House

‘Hello You’
‘I mean it’s fine, isn’t it? It’s sweeping and theatrical, but it gets a bit lost among some of the other executions.’
‘Sculptures Of Anything Goes’
‘Dense, gloomy and atmospheric, those who are looking for Skyfall-meets-The-Kinks will find it here. I, however, was always more of a Die Another Day fan. More glitz, please.’
‘Body Paint’ 
‘Like if Carly Simon and Frank Zappa teamed up to release a prog album. I think I mean that as a compliment.’
‘Mr Schwartz’ 
‘Alex Turner is full Ray Davies here, creating a delicate but subversive character portrait that makes you laugh and sigh every other line.’
‘The Car’ 
‘Pure espionage. If you told me this was the closing track to a Midnight Cowboy-era Soviet drama, I’d believe you.’
‘Big Ideas’ 
‘Perhaps more than many of the other torch song moments on the album, here is where emotion sits most squarely on the surface. A sad, strings-heavy smash: like if Raphael Saadiq wrote for Dusty Springfield.’
‘Perfect Sense’ 
‘This is an album that takes so much of the best bits of British soul and rock, and finds new, interesting fusions of the two. Here it feels like Bowie’s space operatics and Jarvis Cocker’s melancholia have found perfect bed fellows in each other. A flawless finale.’
‘There’d Better Be A Mirrorball’ 
‘On an album of songs that could be the theme tune of The Ipcress File – or at least Park Chan-Wook’s The Little Drummer Girl adaptation – this is the grooviest and most grotesque approach to that style. A superb vanguard for the album to follow.’
‘I Ain’t Quite Where I Think I Am’ 
‘If you wondered what David Bowie would sound like if he was from the Steel City, this is it. An excellent blend of syrupy funk, campy glam and a little bit of absurdism, this is the Monkeys like you’ve never heard them before.’
‘Jet Skis On The Moat’
‘The way this song blends sultry and surreal makes it feel incredibly evocative of something without actually feeling particularly sincere. “Lights out on the Wonderpark / your sawtoothed lover boy was quick off the mark / That’s long enough in the sunshine for one night”: you’ve got to admire the artifice, which works because of how sexy the scoring is.’

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