The new Arctic Monkeys album, AM, is only looking better with each single the British indie rockers release, and “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?” is no exception. Following the weighty seductiveness of “Do I Wanna Know?” and the edgy lyrics of “R U Mine?” the new single gives the listener a drug-induced look into a late night foray in Britain. While the track doesn’t reach the same heights as its predecessors, mostly due to its shorter length, it’s still a catchy tune that will leave its addicting chorus burned into the listeners’ minds.
Based off of “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?” and the previous two singles, it’s obvious that the Arctic Monkeys have strayed from their original sound into a more pop-tinged type of rock. Fortunately this fits the band perfectly, and if the rest of AM sounds like this, I certainly won’t be complaining. The song’s subject matter is as blunt as its name implies, stringing a story about drunken calls to meet up with a woman, who replies, “Why’d you only call me when you’re high?” It may seem like silly material to write a song about, but the Monkeys lend the song sentimentality with lyrics like, “The mirror’s image/ It tells me it’s home time/ But I’m not finished/ ‘Cause you’re not by my side.”
The track is also filled with falsetto inducements and a dark rhythm section that feels like it should be played in a smoke-filled club in underground Britain. Unfortunately, the unique guitar that is a part of almost every great Arctic Monkeys song takes a back seat on this track and is muted compared to the drums and bass. While I can see why the band decided to go in this direction, I truly hope that isn’t going to happen to many more of the songs on AM, especially after the scathing guitar play on “R U Mine?”
Despite some shortcomings on the guitar end of the track, “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?” is a solid single that gives the listener a good idea of what is to come on the new album. The single was also released with a trippy video that perfectly complements the tone the song is vying for. So far, every single that the Arctic Monkeys have released for AM has impressed me in different ways, each one providing a different aspect of the band that we know and love. “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?” has only gotten me more excited for the September release of AM, and while it’s probably the weakest of the three singles, it’s still a great song that captures the essence of the drug-dosed antics the band gets into.