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Arctic Monkeys - Favourite Worst Nightmare
|Arctic Monkeys - Favourite Worst Nightmare|
Record Label: Domino Records
Release Date: April 24th, 2007
2005 brought about a handful of fantastic British freshman. Bloc Party, the Rakes, Kaiser Chiefs, and Maxďmo Park all thrilled a similar audience with their respective releases. And, in the manner of typical rock bands, each returned two years later with a sophomore effort. The former and latter excelled whereas the middle two produced relative flops.
However, most critics consider the Arctic Monkeys the head of the class. Their Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not sold faster than any other debut in U.K. chart history and won seemingly every award and title ever awarded by respected publication NME. So now the Arctic Monkeys ponder how to follow one of the most heralded freshman pieces of all time.
From the outset, listeners hear a much faster, more aggressive sound. Matt Helder, who only learned drums out of band necessity, pounds relentlessly at his kit. He charges alongside equally rapid guitar work from Alex Turner and Jamie Cook to thrust fans headfirst into an energetic opener. Also the initial single from the album, “Brianstorm” unveils a somewhat evolved Arctic Monkeys. The group kept a similar Brit-rock style while shifting their orientation quite slightly away from such an immediately infectious disposition and towards a more aggressive outlook.
However, the Sheffield boys return to the poppy styling that initially won over the masses on the ensuing “Teddy Picker.” Turner here proves yet again his impeccable ear for aurally contagious rhythms. He perfectly paces his Northern English accent in juxtaposition with his band’s accessory playing. “Balaclava” shows the flipside, with instruments such as distorted guitars and fuzzy bass lines leading the way timing wise.
The Monkeys bring their best on speculated second single, “Fluorescent Adolescent.” Gay strings and light percussion light up Turner’s consistent singing to yield a jovial atmosphere about the tune. The carefree attitude abundant throughout the song makes it an ideal candidate for summer anthems worldwide.
Perhaps the shift from brash and brisk to subdued and loving impresses listeners most. Turner accomplishes this feat for the first time in his Arctic Monkeys career with the adoring “505,” a track detailing his desire to reunite with his significant other. An organ sample plays from beginning to end. Thus even when the rest of the band picks up the pace, the decelerated keyboard noise grounds the track and maintains a bit of serenity. It cooperates beautifully with the band.
The sound and the lyrics mesh well here. The Monkeys moved from a more teenaged state in their words to a mature one, and heavier percussion and more ominous strings match said transition. Alex brings more evolved wit and elderly trials to his prose as well.
On the downside, the disc often seems a bit overproduced. The absolute rawness of Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not lent a great deal of appeal to various listeners. Here James Ford of Simian Mobile Disco sacrifices a bit of the group’s personality in the form of roughness in favor of a shade of indie dance flair. Though he produced Klaxons’ Myths of the Near Future, the Monkeys’ latest resembles the nu-rave standout minimally.
Many thought the Arctic Monkeys incapable of living up to the outrageous expectations established due to the success of their debut album. However, with Favourite Worst Nightmare the four young men prove entirely capable of meeting the hype. Now nobody can seriously ask Who the Fuck are Arctic Monkeys?
03:32 PM on 04/24/07
Great album. The song "BrianStorm" is amazing
03:43 PM on 04/24/07
this is the best release i've heard all year. the next few months look very promising, too. 2007 got off to a pretty slow start.
03:46 PM on 04/24/07
Solid young band, too much pressure on them though.
03:47 PM on 04/24/07
i wasn't too into the songs i heard off the debut, but i really like "brainstorm", so i may check this out
03:47 PM on 04/24/07
505 is so ace. This whole album is amazing.
03:51 PM on 04/24/07
I'm going to have to disagree. 2007 had heavy beginning. Check out some of these releases
. Maxďmo Park
might be most like the Monkeys. Myths of the Near Future
03:55 PM on 04/24/07
haha yea, i didn't think that through too well before posting. i should've said that most've what i've
heard this year has been disappointing. thanks for the recs too, man. i'll be sure to check out the ones i haven't heard.
03:57 PM on 04/24/07
such a superb album, they are riff masters, seriously....they can make anyone rock the fuck out with those riffs, and turners lyrics are so damn witty and clever. great band that just took the big middle finger to all the hype and said fuck you we will make great music no matter how big the hype is.
and i know Greg you are trying to be tougher on bands with your scores.....it just makes the rest of the site uneven, i wish everyone else would grade harder than they do. but i applaud you for not being to kind.
*and the last line is great.
04:11 PM on 04/24/07
Good review, solid album.
04:27 PM on 04/24/07
This is definitely on my top 5 for this year.
06:00 PM on 04/24/07
way better than a 76. such a great album. i just wanna dance throughout the whole thing! :D
favorite: fluorescent adolescent
06:29 PM on 04/24/07
definitely a great album. and i just keep listening to "505." so good.
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