Some records are harder to review than others. Particularly good albums are often harder to review because, without enough negative points to counter-balance the positives, you can sound like a gushing fan with no concept of how to link paragraphs.

And if it's not a band's first album, you'll have previous output to compare it to. Where does this one sit in their back-catalogue? Is there even a general consensus about which album's best anyway? When it comes to Arctic Monkeys, probably not. Humbug caught many a twinkling fan's eye, but its follow-up Suck It And See was a mild disappointment. But of course, there are some fans who prefer the youthful exuberance and brashness of their first two albums, compared to the more subtle lyrical intricacies of later work.

With AM, the Yorkshire men - for they're not boys or lads anymore, they're men, with slicked back hair and nice suits that allow them to grace the cover of GQ as easily as they would NME - seem to have spiritually returned to the desert that swallowed them when they first recorded with Josh Homme. It's rock n roll with an emphasis on heavy riffs and catchy rhythms. The Queens of the Stone Age frontman makes a return in guest vocal form on a couple of songs, but his presence is never overbearing - in fact, you'd possibly miss it if you weren't paying attention.

AM is unmistakeably the work of Arctic Monkeys, regardless of the collaborations they've pulled off or where they've recorded it. It doesn't matter that they live in LA now; it's still got a Yorkshire lilt to it, a kind of British swagger bands like Beady Eye could never even hope to reach. With more riffs than you can shake a stick at, this is the kind of album your kids will listen to in the future while they pretend to be a part of a generation they weren't even born into. That's how big it is.

Previously unveiled tracks like 'R U Mine?' and 'Do I Wanna Know?', which opens AM, show themselves off in a stompy, confident way. But it's also in the slower tracks that you hear a band making what they want to make, on their own terms, and so what if it isn't what other people were expecting? 'No. 1 Party Anthem' is a piano-based comedown to end all comedowns, except it happens half way through, and there's still more fun to be had.

If AM is as much a time of day as it is the band's initials, then it's everything that happens after midnight. It's the drunken dancing, losing your mates, falling out with your bird. The waiting in the street, possibly sat on the curb, waiting for a taxi. Is it really that far removed from the themes of 'Favourite Worst Nightmare?'

"That place on Memory Lane you liked still looks the same / But something about it's changed," Turner sings on 'Fireside'. Of course they've changed; Turner's lyrics are as excellent as ever, still throwing about idioms and metaphors without a care for whether we necessarily get them.

And of course, there's the John Cooper-Clarke of a closer. Adapted from the poem of the same name, 'I Wanna Be Yours' is just perfect. The entire album, from first impressions, is near-perfect. Whether we'll still think so after a month, a year, the band's sixth record, a decade, remains to be seen. But for now, this is one of the best albums of the year.