Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not – The Arctic Monkeys
CD Review by Mike D'Ariano

3/2006


         



Track listing
1.
The View From
The Afternoon
2.
I Bet You Look Good
On The Dance Floor
3.
Fake Tales of
San Francisco
4.
Dancing Shoes
5.
You Probably
Couldn't See The
Lights But You
Were Looking
Straight At Me
6.
Still Take You Home
7.
Riot Van
8.
Red Light
Indicates The
Doors Are Secure
9.
  Mardy Bum
10.
  Perhaps Vampires
Is A Bit Strong But...
11.
  When The Sun
Goes Down
12.
  From The Ritz
To The Rubble
13.
  Certain Romance

Label: Domino
Release Date:
February 21, 2006

 

   

I hate hype. I can't stand it when every billboard, magazine, in-store ad, and jackass with a slick haircut and an iPod are all telling me that the new album by such and such is the greatest album of all time . . . they're never right. So, when I first started hearing the buzz around town about this album coming out by a band called the Arctic Monkeys, I didn't pay much attention. In fact, I was offered a free advance copy of it and said - and I quote, "Stupid name, can't possibly be good." Yeah, I can be an asshole sometimes.

Then I find out that it was released in England and became the fastest selling debut album in history. This didn't do much to sway me. I see big selling debut album, I think Nsync, Eminem, and of course Boston . . . Boston? Yeah, Boston has the highest selling debut album in U.S. history. What, you didn't know that?

Finally, I see the damn thing on sale in the Virgin Megastore at Union Square. They're selling it for $35 as an import, and even though it's scheduled to come out here next week, it's selling. I'm watching people snatch this thing up and pay more than triple what it will cost in seven days . . . not me man, not me.

Fast forward two days and I'm standing in an HMV in Montreal, and there's the record for $10 . . . Canadian. I said to myself, self, fuck it, and I bought the damn thing. I felt good about getting it so much cheaper than the suckers back home, and I tried to ignore the fact that I'd passed on a free copy.

So then comes the moment of truth, I'm sitting in my hotel room and I'm gonna throw the thing on. Time to see if it's half as good as the hype. I put it on, and instantly realized that it wasn't just another pop album. Yes, it has relatively high production value, but more importantly, it has balls. This record kicks a little ass. I didn't see that coming, and now, a week later, I think I've played it close to fifty times. I'm driving everyone at work crazy with it. It's as good as they said it was.

So what's it sound like? It sounds like my last favorite English band, The Libertines/Babyshambles, but a little more straight ahead rock, and without that feeling of imminent implosion. In other words, these guys sound like they just might have their shit together. They're tight and they switch seamlessly from rockin' out to grooving on a Cake-like disco break. Lovely.

The lyrics are also something to sit back and take in. "I don't think you're special I don't think you're cool, you're probably alright, but under these lights you look beautiful," and "Everybody's trying to crack the jokes and that to make you smile. Those that claim that they're not showing off are drowning in denial. But they're not half as bad as me, say anything and I'll agree, cause when it comes to acting up, I'm sure I could write a book." These are just two examples of the fuck you and your trendy nightclub cool that the album spouts throughout.

All in all, absolutely excellent. Kev, you were right, I apologize . . . but the name's still stupid.

Favs: "You Probably Couldn't See For The Lights But You Were Looking Straight At Me," "I Bet You Look Good On The Dance Floor," "Still Take You Home," and "Riot Van."

 
       


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