Arctic Monkeys – ‘R U Mine?’ [Domino]


So… am I the only one under the impression that in the last eight months or so Mr Turner’s enamourment with the U.S. of A. has grown slightly out of proportions?

I despised the idea of anything meaning more to Arctic Monkeys than music (and the odd eye candy in the form of a lucky shot of their frontman) so when someone had me noticing how Mr Turner’s latest haircut was curiously resembling a first-era John Lennon (implying that was the way he wanted to be perceived in the USA, where Arctic Monkeys have been touring on and off, mostly on, during these last eight months or so) I refused to believe any of it was even remotely intentional, going to the extent of ignoring the fact that the newest gadget in the Arctic Monkeys store that appeared as of late, was in fact, a comb.




Nor had I read anything more into it than the simple necessity/enjoyment of touring with the time spent over the pond by the band or the unequivocally new visual style they were aligning to. When a few weeks ago Alex Turner and Matt Helders (50% of Arctic Monkeys) were seen getting to L.A. with trolleys full of bags I was even positive of the fact that they were probably setting in there for a bit in preparation for a new album, maybe hooked to a producer who (as many geographically sympathising others) did not want to trade the weather of sunny California for the UK. Understandable even if I would not sympathise with that.

Now, it seems like I wasn’t much off track, but let’s say that somehow, had I ever had as strong an interest in Arctic Monkeys as to call it an expectation, it would’ve been crushed today. Pitchfork first and then all the other online music outlets went crazy over this video which presented a new song, officially defined as “by Arctic Monkeys” even if, again, it features only the aforementioned 50%. In the black and white video (which tries to look so self made it’s just a tiny bit short of Turner taking an iPhone and filming Helders and himself while still holding it) a song from the dubiously spelled title is presented: what happened to the guy whose interest in words was such that he was reading vocabularies for a hobby to name a song “R U mine?” ? Unless, of course, Mr Turner is just trying to be so smart that this is him at his sardonic apex.

And yet, if so, then he deserves recognition for his acting skills, which had me fooled too, so much so that, had I known nothing about Arctic Monkeys and this was the first song and video of theirs I had ever come across, I would have to think they were, in fact, Americans! Which is nothing wrong per se of course, but it should be to a band that was considered (and rightfully so in my opinion) quintessentially british.

So now, I am beginning to wonder, as in any chicken-or-egg dilemma, if this really is just a very clever image stunt which ended up contaminating music. Have Arctic Monkeys decided it’s about time they break big in America? Are they trying to establish themselves in a role that has not been claimed (not successfully at least) since the Beatles? And I must say I’d love the idea of such ambition. Even more so, has Mr Turner lived in the US for so long he’s finally fallen for it? So much so he wanted to feel genuinely part of a whole imaginEry world to the point he has reached with “R U mine?” ?

I am still undecided about the outcome of this dilemma at the moment, I guess I am just bathing in nostalgia and lamenting changes like an old lady. Don’t worry Mr Turner, you still wrote some of my favourite tunes (and lyrics!) of all times. It all just seems in the past now.

PS: I do know all too well that to a fan’s eyes, I might look like I am missing all of the points, and in truth, if I were to read something like this about something I was emotionally involved with, I would try to dissect it word by word proving it wrong. Truth is a haircut does not make a difference to anyone’s personality, but it is reasonable to expect the intelligence of the people mentioned in this post is reliable enough for it to be considered in a larger picture consciously created. At least I give that much credit to Mr Turner’s mind, no matter the shape of the hair on top of his head.

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.