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  • Writer's pictureR’nR With Rylo

Spin #106 : The Car : Arctic Monkeys




SUNDAY DROP - SPIN # 106 FROM THE R'NR WITH RYLO RECORD COLLECTION


"Don't get emotional, that ain't like you. Yesterday's still leaking through the roof". This is the opening line from the seventh studio album 'The Car' by UK band the Arctic Monkeys and it definitely stays with you as you hear it. I keep singing it over and over and it has really become a bit of an earworm for me. It's similar to their previous album, 'Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino' and the opening lyrics on 'Star Treatment' - "I just wanted to be one of The Strokes. Now look at the mess you made me make, Hitchhiking with a monogrammed suitcase". The band have worked their magic again on this record and have a way of captivating us as listeners, as they develop their sound further. As I grow older, so do the artists that I've grown up with and like that they are ageing like a fine wine.


I asked for this record as my Secret Santa present in 2022 and was very happy to hold it in my hands. The front artwork is so simple in a sense, but so thought provoking. There are some images and photographs in life that engage you and this is clearly one of those images. I originally thought that it was a cartoon and didn't realise one of the band members took this photo from his old apartment window using his Leica M6 film camera. I enjoy watching the music videos from this version of the band and all of the older equipment being used. If you get a chance, check out their You Tube channel and watch a couple of the videos from this album.



I've added the track list that appears on the back of the album artwork and they've nicely included the lyrics printed on the inner sleeve. The green colour is a softer style that goes well with the album artwork. Why is the car there? What type of car is it? Did that white car do those burnouts? Is this car abandoned? Those are the questions that come to mind when I look at the LP artwork. I've taken the black LP and placed it on the Audio Technica turntable in our front sun room. The Marshall Woburn II speaker is primed and ready to play this album and I've given the LP a nice brush before dropping the stylus. On this turntable, I don't have to manually drop the stylus, as it is an automated turntable. I lifted up our 5 year old son to press the start button on this one and he laughed as he saw the album cover. His first comment was, "That car did all those circles" and he laughed. Then when the opening line was sung by Alex Turner, he said "I like this one Daddy". I've seen another colour variant of the record, a mustard yellow colour that brings out all the light colours in the photograph on the front artwork.



As you can see in the photos, the turntable and speaker are just above the desk and on the other side of that cube wall are some comfy chairs to relax in while listening. I can turn the speaker around and face that side of the room too. The overall feeling of this album is quite reflective and allows you to sit back and soak in the ambience that comes through the speakers. It is also not a concept album but an album best listened with the view point of listening from a distance, like the album artwork perspective of the car. Whilst listening the mood would change from being pensive, melancholy, critical, engaged and also have moments of acceptance about life. Probably the songs that I enjoyed the most were 'BIG IDEAS', 'PERFECT SENSE' and 'I AIN'T QUITE WHERE I THINK I AM'.


It has a sense that it could be the Arctic Monkeys last album and for that reason, I'm sad about it. I've listened to this album quite a lot this week and although I am familiar with what song is coming up next, I still got excited to listen to each and every song as it came up. If you look up the lyrics or have the lyric sheet included in your copy of 'The Car', read along as Turner sings from the heart. There are questions being asked constantly, like in life and comes down to choices that we make. There are some very witty lyrics that made me chuckle as I heard it. One example is on the song, 'SCULPTURES OF ANYTHING GOES' - "How am I supposed to manage my infallible beliefs, while I'm sockin' it to ya? Performin' in Spanish on Italian TV, sometime in the future. Whilst wondering if your mother still ever thinks of me, Hallelujah".


If you've come this far with the band and can separate each album for what it is, then you will get a lot more enjoyment out of 'The Car' album. If you keep comparing it to their debut or 'AM" album, then you might get lost in the ether on this one. This week we had our son's Easter hat parade on Thursday where they followed the Easter Bunny around the undercover area to music as the parents clapped and cheered. You could see in the kindergarteners faces that it was a lot, but once they felt comfortable dancing and showing off their hats they did have a lot of fun. Our daughter was wearing her hat that she made in the crowd and watching them both have fun as a parent was very wholesome. Some of the hats you could clearly tell were custom designed from a European boutique outlet and airfreighted in on the double - or other words, made by the parents without their children's input at all.



I was able to take my son to his first footy game with Uncle D and Auntie S. He did so well, considering the game kicked off at 8PM. I think that he will remember that moment for a long time, even though our team didn't win the game I could tell he had fun. On Friday we did a bit of indoor cleaning and organising of the kid's rooms and on Saturday visited friends who have children of similar age to ours. They had a blast playing in the mud and jumping on the trampoline with the sprinkler going on a warm March afternoon. On Sunday we had the egg hunt with our kids and family visited in the afternoon. I think everyone had a bit of a sugar crash after some late nights and eating more chocolate than usual, but Easter weekend has been a memorable one.


I would say that 'The Car' paired up well with the weekend and liken this album to one of Alfred Hitchcock's suspenseful films. The arrangements of the band and accompaniment of strings tend to beef up their sound and this is best shown on a song called, 'BIG IDEAS' towards the end of this album. I don't agree with critics when they say the first five songs are great and the rest don't compare. At one moment I thought George Harrison was coming through the speakers. I actually feel the album starts off strong and only gets stronger. Listen to last track, 'PERFECT SENSE' and try to feel like your perspective of the world hasn't been refocused in those final minutes. "That's what it takes to say goodnight. Sometimes, I wrap my head around it all and it makes perfect sense. Keep remindin' me that it ain't a race, when my invincible streak turns onto the final straight". There are moments of nostalgia sprinkled throughout, with nods to David Bowie, Freddy Mercury and The Beatles. It really is a remarkable album if you give it the time and accept that these Sheffield boys have matured like their sound.


I've simplified the blog this week - partly because of a glitch of the wix template not allowing me to save anything and also to make my life a bit easier. Thanks for joining us on your Easter long weekend! I hope that you all get to spin this record or stream it through your car on a trip along the coast.


Until our next Spin......

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