SINGLE REVIEW: Arctic Monkeys – Do I Wanna Know?
The Arctic Monkeys have never really played by the rules. They burst onto the indie music scene in a different way to most other rock bands and ever since they’ve built a reputation for navigating it purely on their terms. Accepting Brit Awards dressed as characters from the Wizard of Oz, spending long periods of time in between albums completely disappearing and never selling their private lives to stay in the public eye. They are unconventional rock stars and they show no signs of bucking this trend with the release of new single ‘Do I Wanna Know?‘.
There was no fanfare, no massive publicity drive, no social media tease stunt; just radio play and then a video (a ridiculously good one, granted) posted online with a link to buy immediately. At a time when audiences are subject to masses of expensive campaigns by artists, the Monkeys have once again found a way to stand apart and let their music speak for itself.
What makes this sudden appearance of ‘Do I Wanna Know?‘ even better is that it is a brilliant track. Along a similar vein as ‘R U Mine?’ and ‘Dangerous Animals‘ this new single finds the Monkeys back in dark, fun and rocky mode; similar to third album ‘Humbug‘.
‘Do I Wanna Know?‘ works so well due to its combination of a young, complex lryical story and slick dark musical accompaniment. Turner paints pictures and tells stories so intricately without overwhelming his audience. This is a tale of a tortured affair where the main character can’t help but keep ‘crawling back’ to their lover, completely caught in their spell.
The lyrics keep the Monkeys grounded, reminding us they are still young and they are still connected to their roots. Compositions like: “Been wondering if your heart’s still open / And if so I wanna know what time it shuts” and “Too busy being yours to fall for somebody new” keep the song completely relatable which is something that the Monkeys have never have a hard time of being.
Alex Turner’s longing draw blends perfectly with Matt Helders’ seductive backing vocals, taking the typical Monkeys sound a step further forward. ‘Do I Wanna Know?‘ has a huge chorus which really brings it to life. This is going to be immense live. Some people love their faster songs or even their more subtle moments but this dark, sultry rock sound is the one this reviewer loves best. More of this and the fifth album is going to be huge. It’s great to have them back.
Watch the accompanying video: