It comes as very little surprise that the Arctic Monkeys are sweeping music fans in the United States off their feet in the thickest of droves. Yet another band formed in the wake of the Strokes, British persons embraced the group’s early released tracks floating about the internet. Domino Records allowed for the continued flow of the songs about the net; such was a strategy that allowed for undying hype by music hipsters to lay a firm fan base foundation for the band.
Arctic Monkeys look to follow fellow European indie stars Franz Ferdinand into the heart of the American mainstream with their release Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, minus a little bit of poppy, danceable bass lines and with a bit more grind to the guitars. That is not to say that the group won’t shake your hips a bit, especially since their second track on the debut full length is titled “I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor.” Whereas many English groups use endearing British accents to mesmerize audiophiles, Arctic Monkeys perfect the hinting nasal Northeastern wail executed by so many indie bands of late with only the slightest European twinge. They pull this off with an incredible amount of success, as vocals are a strong point of the album. Most tracks alone are not individually noteworthy, but rather impressive as a collection; each piece from the opening “The View from the Afternoon” through the sixth song “Still Take You Home” is a more or less cookie cutter track showcasing relatively neat guitars chopping about somewhat repetitively, a hooking bass line, and ambling vocals. “Riot Van” slows things down and manages to represent the first track that truly distinguishes itself from the rest of the album, finally lifting the listener from the trance cast over their minds for the previous six songs. The rest of the album follows in a highly comparable manner, easing fans into that unconscious state of appreciation that comes with the simplest, least thought provoking of excellent albums.
Differentiating from their musical peers is not a strong suit of Arctic Monkeys. On Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, the main non-derivative part of the group’s art are the lyrics. Angst-filled and juvenile, the words cried by the group’s front man are borderline emo in message. Wandering from girls to cops and fakes to vampires, the lyrics are less immature than they are unfocused. Still, such detracts little from an otherwise solid disc.
With Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not Arctic Monkeys uncover very little unexplored ground. Rather, they regurgitate many different influences in the most impressive of manners, piecing together bits and pieces of similar styles to create the ultra sound of British indie. And this is why they will soon be huge in America too.
This review is a user submitted review from Greg Dona. You can see all of Greg Dona's submitted reviews here.
I love this cd and I think the lyrics are original and really funny. Growing up in England, I can relate to alot.
I don't think the lyrics are totally originally, they reminded me a lot of the streets. I like how the songs were fun and easily enjoyable. I considered 'Riot Van ' to be the best track on the album, head and shoulders above the rest. I'm pretty pissed i wasn't able to get tickets to their NYC show, but hopefully they won't be Franz Ferdinand huge the next time their in America.
Right now this is my CD of the year, but that isn't saying much considering next to nothing has come out yet.