By Kira Weaver, Staff Writer
“There’d Better Be a Mirrorball” was released by Arctic Monkeys on a Monday night, or Tuesday morning, depending on how you keep your hours. To me, it was a Monday at midnight and I was in my college apartment’s bathroom, taking off makeup that had become oxidized by a long day. It had started to gather in my forming crow’s feet and frown lines.
I’ve been a fan of Arctic Monkeys since I was fourteen. Like many fans my age, the news of a new song had made me stop staring at myself in the mirror; had made me queue it up on my phone. Earbuds in, I continued my routine, washing my face as I listened, finishing bare.
Listening felt almost as if I were going back to a more naturalized state of living. A transition that was made only after experiencing the beauty of something that is known to always be temporary— whether it be makeup; vacationing on the moon; or, a relationship that you knew, deep down, was always doomed.
“THERE’D BETTER BE A MIRROR BALL” TAKES LISTENERS BACK TO EARTH
Arctic Monkeys’ 2018 album Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino was a concept piece imagining a future where the moon was colonized and turned into a hotel. It showed the band shift away from the alternative-rock sound of earlier albums. And by following a similar slow swing as many of the songs off of this previous album, “There’d Better Be a Mirrorball” makes clear that this shift is here to stay.
This time, however, it comes with a more authentic unplugged orchestration. The string opening mimics the nature of the earth itself. It captures where its sound deviates from Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino, which leaned heavily into synths. We, the listeners, are being taken back to earth.
THE LYRICS AND MEANING
Alex Turner’s lyricism accompanies him in his conquest to create a lover’s soft-rock ballad. He shows maturity in his writing as he switches seamlessly between both parties' perspectives.
The narrative words written tell the tale of the end of a relationship that always had its problems. It was a dynamic where “yesterday” was always “leaking through the roof,” Turner sings. It talks of how the couple are “old romantic fools.” And it expresses hope that in the end, they can still view their relationship with the same sense of romanticism that was held throughout. It’s this sense of idealization captured in the title line— “There’d Better Be a Mirror Ball.”
WHAT’S NEXT FOR ARCTIC MONKEYS?
After five long years, Arctic Monkeys are set to release their upcoming album The Car on October 21st.
“There’d Better Be a Mirrorball” comes as the lead single. This being the first glimpse into the record, listeners should take note of a line Alex Turner sings — “So you want to walk me to the car” — as the words serve as a potential ode to the album name.
The Sheffield rock band has been busy with European tour dates late this August, accompanied by Inhaler, as they prepare for their new album’s debut.
Every Monday, our music staff brings you a new Pick of The Week, detailing some of our favorite songs. Check out our previous Picks of the Week here, and make sure to tune in to WERS 88.9FM!