I’ve been a big Arctic Monkeys fan since 2013, when their fifth studio album ‘AM’ blessed my eardrums. I had so much fun discovering their older songs: the catchy riffs, the relatable lyrics and the almighty sound of Sheffield.
When news of ‘The Car’ dropped in August of 2022, I was pretty excited. Being a self-confessed petrolhead of sorts, my mind immediately jumped to what that album name could mean. How will this album relate to a car?
The album cover depicts a single, lonely white car atop a multi-story parking structure. Sure, I was excited about the new music. But what is that mysterious little car on the cover? And what could it signify?
What is the car?
The vehicle that features on the album cover of ‘The Car’ is a white Toyota Corolla E90 sedan. The E90 was first introduced in 1987 and is the sixth generation of the Corolla.
The Toyota Corolla E90 is recognised for its boxy styling, mechanical reliability and timeless appeal. The model was a big hit across the globe, and it continued to be popular for many years after its release.
As with any Toyota model, the E90 was built to last. It also raised the international status of the Corolla. The E90 focused more on comfort and luxury under Akihiko Saito, the Corolla’s new Chief Engineer.
In my opinion, the E90 Corolla is the perfect automotive subject for the cover of an album named The Car. It doesn’t try too hard. It represents durability, affordability, timeless design and everything that’s great about vehicles.
The backstory behind the cover
According to drummer Matt Helders, he took the photograph of the infamous E90 in 2019. He used a vintage Leica M6 camera and 35mm film to capture the image from his apartment in downtown Los Angeles.
The photo perfectly captures the mystique of a singular, isolated car in one of the busiest cities in America. You can’t spot a single person – just the E90 and its manmade surroundings.
Alex Turner, the frontman of the Arctic Monkeys, claims that the mystique of the image is evident throughout the songs on the new album.
It almost looks like the image was captured by a CCTV camera – with the concept of surveillance cropping up often in the lyrics of the album, Turner claims on RadioX.
Whatever the meaning actually is, the humble Toyota Corolla E90 has become the unlikely subject of one of 2022’s most hotly-anticipated albums. I think that’s well-deserved.
Well, I wanted to keep this article short and to the point. If like me, you were left speculating on the make and model of the car featured in this album cover, now you know what it is.
It’s not exactly a close-up image: the car is far away in the distance. Yet it’s not hard to see the unmistakable and distinctive styling of the Corolla E90.
How are you finding the album so far? Let me know below!