If someone had said “Hey! you heard the new Arctic Monkeys track with the Black Sabbath sample in it? a few years back, you probably would’ve been like “Huh?” But this is 2014, and people can do whatever they want, so now such a thing exists. ‘Arabella’ defies all reservations that Arctic Monkeys might have had about such a thing existing, and does it well.
First of all, the single resides in the Brit award winning, platinum selling AM, so that’s a good start. Secondly the song is a guitar bending, wordsmith-driven, kaleidoscopic black hole that your inner continuum needs to survive the night. ‘Arabella’ is full of beautiful reference points that you can apply to a lover of choice- From ‘Helter Skelter around her little finger’ to ‘kiss the colour of a constellation falling into place’, you get the feeling that Alex Turner definitely has a muse he wants to show off; but subtly, through gorgeous metaphors.
It’s the only thing subtle on the whole track, though, with the Monkeys’ honing in and making Black Sabbath’s ‘War pigs’ their own, they also create an aura of contemporary rock music greatness – the standard that other bands must set themselves if they are to answer Turner’s Brit Awards rock’n’roll yodel. The guitar solo creates a definitive mixture of 80’s glam rock, with hints and touches of Slash found within, not just on this single, but elsewhere on the record.
Go listen and find your own muse that ‘makes you wish you were the bottle’. Trust me, it will be worth it.
Can you listen to anything now?
Words by Matthew Bisgrove