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Arctic Monkeys are an indie rock band from Sheffield, who came to prominence through user-generated social media sites such as MySpace and sharing tracks prior to getting a record label. This led to a pre-built fan base before the band released their debut studio album, which accounts for it selling 360,000 copies in its first week of release in January 2006 and retaining the record for fastest selling debut album by a band, beating Oasis 'Definitely Maybe'.
'I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor', the first single from the album, is an instant classic with a fast tempo and a great chorus that you can sing along with. Whenever listening to it, I feel the itch to head onto the dancefloor myself. Even now, it is arguably their most well-known song and was my introduction to the band's work.
'When The Sun goes Down' is another well-known track, the second single from the album, which describes a story set in the seedier part of Sheffield. What I love about this song is the constant speed changes which fit with the lyrics about the town becoming a nastier place when it gets dark. The faster, more threatening beat is almost like a rollercoaster, which slows down at the end of the song once the sun comes up again. The story is so evocative, that a short film was made called, 'Scummy Man', starring Stephen Graham from 'This is England'.
There are some songs that didn't stand out and grab my attention, such as 'Dancing Shoes', but there are some true classics in there which I regularly listen to. 'Riot Van' is a painfully reflective song about run-ins with the law and 'A Certain Romance', possibly the greatest song ever, starts out with a rocking instrumental and descends to a dream-like ode to those who wear "tracky bottoms tucked in socks". It's a beautiful closing track to the album and it's a crime that it isn't more recognised outside of the band's fans.
The album has a good mixture of fast-paced songs and slower, more reflective tunes. This fits the 'Saturday Night / Sunday Morning' theme that the band were going for, with the slower songs representing that post-night out reflection as you lay in bed slightly worse for wear and the faster songs capturing the mood of a Saturday night out in a busy nightclub, or the confusion of the taxi cab home. Listening to this album can either get me pumped up for a night out, or feeling nostalgic for my university nights out. It's an essential choice for anyone looking to capture the excitement of being young, single and slightly inebriated.
This review also appears on my blog
Artic Monkeys are a four piece indie rock band from Sheffield, who have won multiple awards including "Best International Band". They formed in 2002 and have since released 4 studio albums. Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not is the band's debut album. It was released in early 2006 and sold over 360,000 copies in its first week. The Band Members are as follows:
- Alex Turner - Lead Vocals and Guitar
- Jamie Cook - Guitar
- Matt Helders - Drums and Backing Vocals
- Andy Nicholson - Bass
Track 1 The View From The Afternoon
This song is pretty epic - an amazing intro song to kick the album off, it's upbeat and almost wild. Drums, guitars, strong vocals and an amazing beat. To be honest the first few times I listened to it I didn't concentrate on the meaning behind it/what the lyrics meant, I simply danced about to it with a few friends, but as my love grew for the song I decided to sit down and carefully listen to the lyrics and they're actually very relateable and somewhat meaningful - "anticipation has a habit to set you up" this could refer to basically liking someone for ages, imagining all these different situtations of getting together with them etc and then bein let down/them not wanting you. However, the line after this - "for disappointment in evening entertainment" makes me think it could be about the whole music scene and pressure to get heard, for example when they were just getting started out as a band and were looking forward to playing at a gig, but they didn't live up to everyones expectations and let themselves down, and no matter how much effort they put in - "and you can pour your heart out" it just isn't working. Another, more simple meaning is it just been a song about getting hyped up for a night out and observing the less than desirable people who inhabit town on a weekend - "the lairy girls hung out the window of the limousine", and "anticipation has a habit to set you up" could be referring to the lack of attractive girls and he was hoping to get laid?! I'm not completely sure, but I still oddly find it a relatable song because of the way the vocals are spoken, it's an amazingly catchy song and so fast paced. The video's also pretty good with a hot guy playing the drums passionately (he's not a member of the artic monkeys though), and in the end he gets bashed on the head by an annoyed neighbor lol.
Track 2 I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor
This is one of my favourite songs on the album and i'd say it's probably the most well known Artic Monkeys song - it was their first single and the song even won an NME award. The song starts off with the drums and a merge of guitars and then Alex's gorgeous sexy vocals kick in (sorry but i'm in love with his voice lol), he has such a sort of husky, raw voice and you catch hints of his Sheffield accent at times which I like as it shows how un manufactured the band are, not autotuned or altered like alot of bands that are around. The song is about a night on the town, seeing an attractive girl and eye sexing her from across the room - "stop making the eyes at me, i'll stop making the eyes at you", then talking to her/flirting with her - "I bet that you look good on the dance floor, I don't know if you're looking for romance or.." and her giving a fake name/not bein intrested, but he's attracted to her as she stands out from the crowd - "I wish you'd stop ignoring me as it's sending me to dispair". I love the backing vocals when Matt sings "you're dynamite", it really adds to the song and makes it even more catchy. I like the line where Alex sings "lighting the fuse might result in a bang" I think this refers to sex, I know that makes me sound like a pervert lol but considering the whole meaning of the song I think it's more than likely. The song builds and builds throughout - both the instrumentals and the vocals, I love it! Definetly an ideal song for a Friday night, it's the type of song that's impossible to get bored/sick of, it has such a catchy rythm and I can't really fault it!
Track 3 Fake Tales of San Francisco
This is another brill song. It kicks off with guitars, drums etc, it's a bit of an explosion and I just put it on to listen to as I review it and it nearly blew my ear drums up lol as I had the volume on full blast. The song is a tiny bit repetitive but I still love it. It's a very rock sounding song, more hardcore than alot of their other songs, very fast moving. To be honest I am not completely settled on the meaning of the song, but it seems to me to be mocking a typical american wannabe rock band OR a british band who are attempting to copy American Rock - "you're not from New York you're from Rotherham", a band who are basically trying to be something they're not, which Artic Monkeys see as the opposite of themselves as they're authentic. I particullary like the line "all the weekend rockstars in the toilets practicing their lines" - it never fails to make me smile! They're putting across a message in a fun but truthful way, underlinigg the amount of wannabe, rubbish bands around who are after the typical rock star lifestyle - fame, money, women, but without producing good quality songs and just jumping on the bandwagon. This isn't my favourite song but the instrumentals stop me from turning it straight off - I particullary like the guitar riff at around half way into the song, it has a very different sound to it - unique, and the catchy use of the drums also adds to the song, I am just not keen on the (at points) shouty lyrics.
Track 4 Dancing Shoes
This is a really upbeat song, it doesn't have a massive amount of meaning to it, it's more of a song that is easy to sing along to and have a sing along to when a bit tipsy lol. I think it's basically a song about young guys who go out to clubs trying to pull and thinking they're gods gift but when they see a girl they actually like and it actually comes down to it they can't make/find it hard to make the first move and expect the girl to do all the work - "oh, but it's so absurd for you to say the first word" I like the instrumentals of the song but find it a bit too random, like the guitar riffs popping up everywhere and it's not a song i'd go out of my way to listen to.
Track 5 You Probably Couldn't See for the Lights But You Were Staring Straight at Me
This is a really energetic song that grabs you the moment it starts with fast paced instrumentals. I am not keen on the vocals though, a bit too cocky and fast paced for me so it's not a song I listen to much but it is quite a sweet song.. it's about talking to someone you really like and trying to mess up, but the person he likes is the kind of girl that everyone wants a piece of - "you had us all standing on our heads" and he's basically trying to stand out from everyone else and impress her despite the amount of fear and pressure it causes him.
Track 6 Still Take You Home
This is quite a good song but I am not keen on it, it starts out with the drums and electric guitar, it's very beatles sounding in my opinion, it's not got the usual artic monkeys easily identifiable sound to it if that makes sense. The song is basically mocking a girl, possibly his ex, or someone he once liked, saying how fake and generally bitchy she is but she has everyone eating out her hands, but how he'd still take her home (have sex with her). I like the guitar riff in the middle and the "woah woah woah da da da" bit in the middle, that's the only reason that I really listen to it lol. It's a very night on the town type of song, the sort you'd stick on while getting ready/having a few drinks to get hyped up.
Track 7 Riot Van
I love this song, it's nice and slow but builds up slightly. I really like it, it's a nice change to their usual fast paced type songs, it's about running from the police and doing stupid stuff for the fun of it. It's simply about kids drinking on the street and people calling the police even though they've not done much wrong about drinking - "so up rolls a riot van and sparks excitement in the boys" and "we didn't do that much wrong" I think bits of it is also reminsing about his past - the good old days of drinking with his friends in the streets and having a laugh - "have you been drinking son, you don't look old enough to me" and then Alex winding him up sarcasticly because he doesn't feel like he's done anything wrong "i'm sorry officer, is their a certain age you're supposed to be, cause nobody told me" and all the lads are winding the police up asking why they're not catching proper crooks. I can relate to this, the police used to stop me and my friends just for walking down the street holding a j2o (orange juice!!) bottle when we were about 15, accusing us of drinking - seriously, haven't they got anything better to do? I really like this song. Nice and soft and gentle with a relaxing guitar riff.
Track 8 Red Light Indicates Doors Are Secured
I don't really like this song and rarely listen to it so there's not much I can say about it. It's too rocky for me, I prefer their more indie sounding songs, but for anyone wondering it is about a guy out on the pull on a weeend and not getting the girl he wanted. People who like fast paced heavy rock type songs will like this.
Track 9 Mardy Bum
I really like the intro of this song, it builds up quickly and it's generally very catchy from the start. I percieve it as bein about a relationship and the woman's not very happy with him because he was late home - "i'm in trouble again, aren't I? Can't we just laugh and joke around?" and he's saying it's hard to remember the goodness in the relationship when she's sulking with him - "but it's reet hard to remember that when you're all argumentative." I love Alex's voice in this - adorable.
Track 10 Perhaps Vampires Is a Bit Strong But
I like the beginning of this, it reminds me a bit of the XX for some reason but it quickly builds up. Alex's voice is a bit distorted in this due to the very heavy guitar, which I don't like. The song is about journalists and how they twist stuff, it's also about his ex friends who sell fake stories about him - "Cause all you people are vampires and all your stories are stale, I know you pretend to stand by us but you're certain we'll fail." I love the drums in this song, and it's a good song but not my favourite.
Track 11 When the Sun Goes Down
This is definetly my favourite song on the album. It's about a Pimp and a young prostitute. Alex refers to the Pimp as a "scummy man" throughout the song, making it clear that the guy is not a nice person to be around - "just give him half a chance, I bet he'll rob you if he can" Basically the song is about how he's using the girl for his own pleasure (money) and generally mistreating her but she knows no better and is desperate to keep him sweet, so therefor tries her best to get as many customers as possible - "although you're trying not to listen, I bet your eyes are staring at the ground, she makes a subtle proposition, i'm sorry love i'll have to turn you down." In the song it seems like the singer is observing the girl and wondering how she ever got in the state that she's in, almost pitying her - "so who's that girl there? I wonder what went wrong so that she had to roam the streets?" The Pimp is all that she's got and she relies on him for presumably drugs/shelter/food, so she tries her best to earn her keep, trailing around the freezing cold streets wearing barely anything even in winter - "scantily clad beneath the clear night sky" and is pleased with herself when she gets a customer - "oh and she's delighted when she sees him, pulling in and giving her the eye" The song is definetly siding with the girl (Roxanne) and villainizing the Pimp, showing him for what he is. It's a really catchy song, the guitar riff is nice and upbeat, the lyrics are easy to sing along to as they're clear and easy to understand. The first 50 seconds or so of the song consists of Alex sort of singing slowly (but with his usual cheeky, catchy tone of voice) but at the 50 second mark it transforms into a rock song with the upbeat drums and guitar with faster vocals. I especially love the last line of this song, it's almost a subminimal message - "I hope you're not involved at all" I take this to be Alex talking to the listener and hoping that they're not involved in drugs, prostitution etc. The chorus of the song - "they said it changes when the sun goes down" is extremely catchy, and very 'rock' sounding with heavy instrumentals and strong vocals. The video for this song is outstanding, and portrays the personalities of both the Pimp and prositute exceptionally well. The Pimp is played by Stephen Graham, who has a sort of 'look' to him that makes him fit into character well without sounding nasty haha. The prostitute is played by Lauren Socha, who is probably most well known for playing Kelly in Misfits, she also does a good job in portraying a rundown, desperate prostitute, and I do actually feel sorry for her in the video. Overall a catchy song with meaningful lyrics.
Track 12 From the Ritz to the Rubble
Ha, I love this song - so many memories! Erm, the song is basically about the idiot bouncers who start fights with people for the sake of it 'cause they think they're hard, lol. Anyway, the song is basically about Alex's experience with 2 bouncers, one of which started a fight with him because "he's got no time for you looking or breathing how he don't want you to" and he's talking about how now it's morning he can see things differently - "now the haze has desended it don't make no sense anymore" I love the heavy guitar and the collab at the end when they're singing na na na na - this is a feel good song that is pretty funny as it speaks alot of truth, my boyfriend should give this a listen as i'm sure it'll remind him of the embarrising incident last month!
Track 13 A Certain Romance
This is a great song and a good song to finish the album off nicely. Very upbeat, with all the tell-tale artic monkey instrumentals and beats. The meaning of the song is simple, it's about Chavs! Give it a listen, it's pretty hilarous at points as it's so ironic. It's basically about life on a rough council estate.
An amazing album! 4/5 stars due to the couple of songs that I am not keen on.
'Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not' is the debut album by the English Indie Rock band Arctic Monkeys and it was released in 2006.
I cannot say a bad thing about this album, everybody I know loves it, and I think it can be put under that rare category of music which EVERYBODY likes, no matter what age you are or musical preference you have.
There are 13 tracks on the album, and none of them are anything like the next, not the tune, meaning or energy of it, and I love every single one of them.
The lead vocalist (also a guitarist) Alex Turner sings with such passion, and you can tell that the whole band cares so much about the music and the message that they are trying to get across through it.
There is such a variation between all of the songs and what speed and tune they are played at that you just can't get bored of it, and after 5 years of owning this album, I still play it regularly, its never been deleted from my iPod.
This album is a real piece of art, it is an album that has got everything, there is very few, if any off the top of my head, albums, that I can truly say that I enjoyed every song on there, but this is one of them. It starts with a bang and ends with a bang and just keeps going all way through, the Arctic Monkeys are the number one band in the world and they really produce the goods with this record, they produce such a wide range of music and are very intelligent musicians with great melodies and in most parts very clever and inspirational lyrics that tell wonderful story's. The thing about the Arctic Monkeys is that they sound great live, recorded, acoustic or even re mixed, there music is so diverse and doesn't sound out of place anywhere, If you own this album then you know what I mean, If you haven't got this album then stop reading these reviews and get it bought because it is the boys at there raw best.
I've had this album as a download for ages but recently bought the album on disk as my love for Arctic Monkeys is epic, yes like the size of an ocean epic. You can expect me like many of the song lyrics as yes they very much do relate to every lad.
I'm going to review it a different way to how I reviewed 'Suck it and See' as I see somebody else has already done that
This album, from the Sheffield's very best musicians in my opinion, is more than my most favorite album ever produced. The album was released in January 2006 and is the Arctic Monkeys debut album. When released it became the UK's fastest selling album managing to get over 360,000 copies in its first week of sale. Any indie-rock fan will of heard the two No.1 singles "I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor" and "When the Sun Goes Down" their is certainly more of that in this album.
The track list is as follows;
===01. The View From The Afternoon (9.3/10)===
--Starts of with a great guitar riff which will have you taping your foot along with the snare, at least that's what I presume it is, never the less it makes for great start to a song. It quickly kicks in with the vocals too, unexpectedly Alex Turner burst out with some fantastic whilst not easy to learn lyrics, but definitely ones that you pretend to know in this catchy song. The chorus is great, although I wasn't sure which was actually it as two different verses are repeated, I went for the more logical one that changes in tone in the song. It does slightly slow down, but this probably a good thing so you can hear the magic that is something I can relate to. Damn the...
''verse and chapter sat in her inbox
And all that it says is that you've drank a lot''
===02. I Bet You Look Good On The Dance Floor (10/10)===
--Starting off with another great riff, I hope I'm using the correct terminology here, the vocals starting are quite easy to anticipate. Lyrics and more are once again something special and are what really make this a 10/10 for me, more specifically the singing of;
''And lighting the fuse might result in a bang, b-b-bang, go!''
You'll need to listen to it really to fully understand what I mean. Chorus isn't an easy one to pick out here as well but I like to think its follows the ''bang, b-b-bang, go!''. Until now I never realised that the same lyrics are repeated in this song throughout, yet I feel that they pulled it of greatly as I never got bored whilst listening to this song repeatably to write this.
===03. Fake Tales Of San Francisco (9.1/10)===
--Drums to kick this off, followed by a different style of song to the first two. This doesn't mean that it has the Arctic Monkeys touch, no the chorus is great stopping the beat that starts from the beginning to show of the voices of Alex Turner and his back-up singers. I think the back-up singers are all the band together, possibly
with Alex though. The great rock riffs start after the second chorus though with lyrics that I can't be quite sure of their exact meaning but the title should be enough to give me the heads up.
===04. Dancing Shoes (9.3/10)===
--I do mention this further on in the review, so a quick overview of this amazing. Vocals starting instantly with amazing guitars players and their plucked tunes to back them up. Quite a bit more rock than the previous. ''Don't act like it's not happening''... Your love for Arctic Monkeys that is. :p
===05. You Probably Couldn't See for the Lights but You Were Staring Straight at Me (9.2/10)===
--Really long title for a song which is relatively short. With the longest instrumental lasting around 3 seconds it's basically singing all the way through.(please note I'm more than likely incorrect with the terminology and song structure here). I'm also not even sure that's their a chorus in this but if there was I would think it's this
''One look sends it coursing through the veins, oh, how the feeling races
Back up to their brains to form expressions on their stupid faces''
The first line being sung by the back-up singers, being different person(s) in the two times its actually used. Yes it's a great song, and as a song that was used to fill the album, it still has a high quality standard unlike some artist of the same genre. I didn't however really enjoy listening to this on repeat whilst reviewing it (repeated about 5 times in a row, yet hardly anything to show in my review...)
===06. Still Take You Home (9.6/10)===
--The beginning of this, after the tapping of the drum sticks, sounds the same as half way through the song. So really it is a ''kick off instantly song'' with its great guitar riffs, oh how I love this band. The lyrics to chorus are mentioned after but are some really catchy stuff, just read on and and I quote a few lines. My real favourite to this song though is the end. Yes, I don't mean the part where the music fades, no the last verse and more particularly the last lines.
'' 'Cause everybody's looking
You've got control of everyone's eyes, including mine''
I really don't know why their so great, actually I do, it's definitely the way it's sung and the true representative of the lyrics in real life. (I listened to this 5-8 times repeatedly and never got bored, definitely re-rating this)
===07. Riot Van (9.6/10)===
--Here comes the slow down in the album, don't expect fantastic riffs here, but more of a great indie song. It is another song I can reflect upon. Back in the days, I say this like I'm fully matured but I am certainly past the days of drinking underage, we had this story many times. Only now do I realise how silly it seems, and the friends I use to have. Yes it seems to be quite a personal song for me sparking memory's in my young teens. I haven't really commented on song becuase I don't know what to say really. The lyrics, I'm sure not only me will be put in to flashbacks by them, are just a representative as a lower/middle-class teen in Britain.
"Have you been drinking son?
You don't look old enough to me"
"I'm sorry, officer, is there a certain age you're supposed to be?
'Cause nobody told me"
The classic excuse! :)
===08. Red Light Indicates Doors Are Secure (9.5/10)===
--This feels like it is a continuation from the previous song, I'm sure it was intended, has an increase in the pace. This part of the album though, not just this song but the two surrounding it, are slower. The song it self is short, lasting about 150 seconds, is once again just singing without any major/loud guitar riffs. There is a instrumental solo close to the end lasting around 20 seconds which is the best part in my opinion. Lyrically the song can be related to, but I can't say I ever will. They're are very good lyrics about a simple conversation about a taxi ride and until now never understood the title. I can honestly say I've never jumped a taxi ride and never plan on doing. I'm going to guess this is the chorus;
And I'm sitting going backwards and I didn't want to leave
I said, "It's High Green mate via Hillsborough, please"
although it's slightly different towards the end I'm sure there's a technical word for it.
===09. Mardy Bum (9.6/10)===
--The lyrics to a life I don't quite have yet, arguing with your better half, presuming your a male reading this. Hmm the song itself is very catchy and had easy lyrics to learn, if your a sing along guy although, you would have to be some sort of romanticist to sing this to a female companion. There is a great riff here played on the second to last verse, in fact it is probably my most favourite riff from Arctic Monkeys, although I probably say this about all of them... you should look the lyrics up as the are quite clever and I don't want quote a full song. (http://lyrics.wikia.com/Arctic_Monkeys:Mardy_Bum)
===10. Perhaps Vampires Is A Bit Strong But... (9.3/10)===
--Getting tired at this part of my review, but Arctic Monkeys deserve my full attention, even if I've been doing for two hours now. Back to the actual song. It starts of with rock that you will want to pretend you can strum (if you cant) as it is amazing. It is basically the only riff played all the way through song until the pre-chorus (according to Wikipedia but I'm just going to call it the instrumental solo). The ''instrumental solo'', I'm sure this is wrong, if you will is just a build up riff leading to some crashing of drums and fantastic guitar play. Back on topic again, this is amazing having as I've said pretending to play in your own privacy, the guitar. Really upbeat rock and the lyrics have a great story, if I'm interpreting them correctly. As far as I'm aware it about the band and possibly record companies trying to make money off them, with their old stories and false back up''. Hopefully the chorus can back me up;
'' 'Cause all you people are vampires
And all your stories are stale
And though you pretend to stand by us
I know you're certain we'll fail''
===11. When The Sun Goes Down (9.9/10)===
(I'm not allowing I know to read this anymore)
--A rather sad story lyrically about a prostitute and a ''Scummy Ford Mondeo Man''. I don't really want to delve into the lyrics in this one as I quite hate the sad stories which you'll see in this verse (It's the way he's says F***ing for some reason);
''Look here comes a Ford Mondeo
Isn't he Mister Inconspicuous?
And he don't even have to say 'owt
She's in the stance ready to get picked up
Bet she's delighted when she sees him
Pulling in and giving her the eye
Because she must be f***ing freezing
Scantily clad beneath the clear night sky
It don't stop in the winter, no''
Anyway moving aside, there's a quite a lot of lyrics in this song. It doesn't actually kick in with and drums and riffs til the 3rd verse. It is a great upbeat song if you can get past the lyrics, which i used to do until now I fully analysed the song... The chorus being the most upbeat part doesn't mention anything bad. It doesn't have any amazing riffs during, but it is still incredible.
===12. From The Ritz To The Rubble (9.5/10)===
--This song starts of with vocals, backed with some guitar before it kicks in with the drum and a burst of astounding lyrics. It's literally genius this, quite clearly another trip around the town's nightlife. I think that's what makes it this good though, as if its ever happened to you can remember it from a different perspective. The riffs are like always, superior to most others and coupled with the instrumental that builds up into first-class music to me and yes, probably you if your still reading this.
===13. A Certain Romance (9.8/10)===
--Strait of from the start its a brilliant build up of drums, guitars, other instruments I'm guessing. It is then slowed down to a catchy keyboard played rhythm with, how many times, excellent lyrics. Oh though im not to sure on the meaning behind the song, the very first lyrics speak for themselves;
''Well, oh, they might wear classic Reeboks or knackered Converse
Or tracky bottoms tucked in socks''
What it means? I don't know, although I think it is purposed made gibberish for the point that they can mention there's no romance between some people. You should have a look at the lyrics if you want to even begin to understand. (http://lyrics.wikia.com/Arctic_Monkeys:A_Certain_Romance). The instrumental towards the end is superb (I'm running out of synonyms) and yes is definitely the best finish to an album of such class.
The album consist of pure guitar rock all the way, it really would makes you fall in love with music all over again. The only change in pace in this album is Riot van where the lads get into an account with the police, but still, the lyrics will more than likely re-spark the memories of older folk to my own generation. With catchy lyrics all the way through the album such as;
''what do you know?
You know nothing,
but I'd still take you home''
where the genius Alex Turner is simply describing a teens fear on a early visit to a club. Verses from 'Dancing Shoes' also stating the same;
''And the shit, shock, horror
You've seen your future bride
Oh, but it's oh so absurd
For you to say the first word
So you're waiting and waiting
The only reason that you came
So what you scared for?
don't you always do the same
It's what you there for, don't you know''
A scene any lad can relate to, age 30 or age 21. With such fantastic lyrics its hard not to like 'Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not' and all washed in with Alex's voice can create some fascinating music.
Overall I rate this 9.6/10 (4.8/5 for the stars) and find it impossible to switch off along with the rest of the Arctic Monkeys albums and EP's, and to say I used to have a favourite song from these guys...
Definitely recommended to anyone willing to pay £5 from Amazon with free delivery.
Amazon link = www.amazon.co.uk/Whatever-People-Say-Thats-What/dp/B000BTDMDC
On a rainy day in Manchester in late 2004 I found myself in the Night & Day pub watching an unknown Sheffield band called the Arctic Monkeys. I wasn't expecting much - around 17 years old, unsigned, hardly any gigs outside their native city.
They began their set and I immediately knew I was witnessing the start of something pretty special. They played a song called 'I Bet That You Look Good On The Dancefloor' - I remember thinking at the time 'wow, that song is going to be massive'.
It was a tiny gig and the band milled around afterwards so I decided to go up and have a natter. I asked where I could get hold of their music - they hadn't released anything. Cue me searching the length and breadth of the internet trying to find somewhere I could download some of their songs. They had a home -made website containing, as I remember, a little blurb about one of their early gigs, and not much else.
I eventually managed to find a few rough demos and listened to them pretty much on repeat for the next year. I spent the large majority of 2005/2006 studying abroad, so I completely missed the meteoric rise of the band. I remember coming home in Summer 2006 to discover the little known band I'd been telling everyone about for years were headlining Leeds festival. A very surreal moment. It was also around this time that they brought out their first album, which I immediately purchased the week it came out.
It contained a lot of the songs I already owned demos of - but cleaner, polished versions. I suppose this was to be expected, but for me it took away some of the edge and the roughness which made the band special to me.
Nevertheless, I still maintain that this is a great album. As with all bands, now they're hugely known and mainstream, the 'cool kids' have all but written them off, but I urge you to cast aside these preconceptions and take these songs for what they are.
Some of the lyrics are absolutely wonderful - being from Rotherham, the infamous "You're not from New York City, you're from Rotherham" sticks out in my mind, but songs such as "Red Light Indicated Doors are Secured" and "Mardybum" are almost like poetry in their observational accuracy and imagery.
Other classics such as "Dancing Shoes" and "Dancefloor" are unbelievably catchy. I remember these being played in the Leadmill in Sheffield in the band's infancy and the reaction was incredible.
There are one or two duds - I tend to skip over 'Perhaps Vampires is a bit Strong', for me it's not quite as good as the others, but it's not a bad song as such.
All in all I think (and I hope) that this album will be one which becomes known down the years as a classic, and I'm proud to have been at the start of it all.
When I first heard of the Arctic Monkeys, I must admit that I was a bit skeptical. "I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor" was taking over the charts in the UK, and it was reported that they were having greater initial success than The Beatles and other great bands of the UK. Could such a young group of guys really be this good?
So, I proceeded to do what everyone else was doing: listen to "I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor" a gajillion times. But I took it a step further by listening to the rest of the album. I admit that I was thoroughly impressed. This young group was to be more than just a one-hit wonder. They had/have the capacity to be a long-term band that critics will find themselves discussing for many years to come.
What makes "Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not" unique is that it offers the Arctic Monkeys' fans a sound that is all their own while still being able to display the number of sounds required to break out into superstardom. Yes, "I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor" will always likely be one of their most popular songs forever, but there are songs like "Take You Home", "Mardy Bum", and "A Certain Romance" that offer fans a slightly softer side of the band while still staying true to their sound.
I look forward to hearing much more from the Arctic Monkeys. I know that they have a lot of material left in their arsenal, and I am excited to see what they can do in the future.
You may wonder, how is it I am only catching onto the Artic Monkeys now? This, their debut release "Whatever People Say That's What I'm Not" was released in 2005 and became the fastest ever selling debut album in British history, amid a media frenzy who if I remembered correctly praised them to the nines. Normally I do anything to avoid albums that come out and are instantly praised by the like of "NME" and "Kerrang", who claim whatever flavour of the month it is to be the saviour of British music or whatever. A few months later and normally they just disappear, never to be seen or heard of again unless of course one of them dies, which sparks a huge interest in their music and is probably the best way to get into the limelight. Fortunately the Artic Monkeys have neither died nor disappeared, and have released two more albums: "Favourite Worst Nightmare" and "Humbug" which were both praised by the media. So I decided to stop being a grumpy old man and splash out on their debut album and decide if all the hype was worth it.
Artic Monkeys don't waste time laying down their intentions with the opening track "The View from the Afternoon". Beginning with crashing guitars and climaxing with an insanely catchy chorus make this a brilliant song that establishes Alex Turner as one of the best songwriters of the current music generation. Telling a tale of a night out in his local Sheffield, Turner comments on the disappointments of young men going out cleverly with: "I want to see all of the things that we've already seen/Lairy girls hung out the window of a limousine/Because it's fancy dress/And they're all looking proper good in bunny ears and devil horns and hats". A storming statement of intent which lays the foundations for the rest of the album brilliantly.
The second song is "I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor" a single which achieved huge success in the charts. No doubting why, as this is another excellent track. It is one of the catchiest songs on the album and one of the finest songs I have heard to come out of England this decade. Another one track that dwells on the theme of going out and looking for romance: "Stop making the eyes at me/I'll stop making the eyes at you" - an example of Turner's exciting lyrics. One of those rare rock songs that wouldn't be out of place on the dance floor, due to its frenetic energy.
"And all the weekend rock stars are in the toilet/Practicing their lines" - my favourite line of a song, ever. I'm sure your tired of me raving about Turner's songwriting skills but they really are something to be admired and there is no denying this young man's talent. He is also an accomplished guitarist too, but mostly leaves the lead guitar to Jamie Cook, who is consistently on top form throughout this album. "Fake Tales of San Francisco" is just one example of his clever little riffs that are dotted throughout the album. "The View from the Afternoon" is one of the more poppier songs on the album and is also ridiculously catchy, another contender for best song on the album.
"Dancing Shoes" is the fourth song on the album and at only 2:21 is one of the shorter songs on the album, but the Monkeys still manage to cram in a great guitar solo. Crashing guitars and furious drumming make this a great little rock song, slightly heavier than the first three songs and a song that obliges the listener to crank the volume as loud as possible.
The fifth song is the shortest song on the album and you could probably finish the song in the time that it takes to say it's title; the preposterous "You Probably Couldn't See for the Lights but You Were Staring Straight at Me". Whilst there is nothing particularly wrong with it falls below the high standard set by the first four songs.
"Still Take You Home" sees Jamie Cook take over lyrical duties from Alex Turner for a song, and while his attempt at songwriting is good when placed between Alex Turner written songs it comes across as quite mediocre. Luckily for him and us though, he saves the track with some more inspired playing. In the context of the album this song is one of the more average songs.
"Riot Van" features a nice change in tempo, with some slow guitar and Alex Turner doing his best to sound miserable and it works perfectly. A song about getting into trouble for "the laugh", every teenage boy will be able to relate to these lyrics of mischief: "Have you been drinking, son/You don't look old enough to me/I'm sorry, officer/Is there a certain age you're supposed to be/Cause nobody told me". A slow song that gives the listeners ear a nice break from the heavier and faster songs before it.
"Red Lights Indicate Doors Are Open" returns to a faster pace, but this is probably the worst song on the album. Don't get me wrong, it is not a bad song by any means, just a bit boring compared to the rest of the album. It plods along and is probably the only "filler" song on the album.
Alex Turner turns his hand to writing about relationships on the next song "Mardy Bum", and again he impresses with his lyrics, singing about a "Mardy Bum" which is Nottingham slang meaning a grumpy or downbeat person (according to the internet anyway!). This song conveys the problems relationships go through brilliantly, as Turner sings the reason his girlfriend is a "Mardy Bum": "Yeah I'm sorry I was late/Well I missed the train/And then the traffic was a state/And I can't be arsed to carry on in this debate". Another slower song in which Turner shows a different dimension to his voice, using a more subtle tone than his normally rich Sheffield accent, which works to make this another inspired song.
The Artic Monkeys than turn their attentions to the music press with "Perhaps Vampires is A Bit Strong But..." as the title suggests comparing journalists to vampires. Turner certainly doesn't hide his feelings, convinced that the press don't want the Artic Monkeys to succeed: "Cause all you people are vampires/And all your stories are stale/And though you pretend to stand by us/I know you're certain we'll fail". I don't know if that's exactly true but nonetheless it is another storming song on the album.
The next song was released as a single, in truth at least ten of the thirteen tracks on the album (if not more) would I am sure have been successful and put on radio play lists up and down the country. "When the Sun Goes Down" is a sobering story of prostitution on the streets of Sheffield: "She don't do major credit cards/I doubt she does receipts/It's all not quite legitimate". It starts in the same, quiet manner of "Riot Van" as Turner talks about a prostitute, but soon guitars crash in as Turners expresses his anger at the man who forced her into this situation: "And what a scummy man/Just give him half a chance/I bet he'll rob you if he can". It is all off course infectiously catchy with a huge sing-along chorus.
While the next song isn't as lyrically deep as "When The Sun Goes Down", it is just as catchy. "From the Ritz to the Rubble" is a tale of going out, getting drunk and then not being able to remember what happened last night. Another song to which the youth of Britain can relate to, from dodging power hungry bouncers to hinting at drug use: "But now the haze has ascended/It don't make no sense anymore". Catchy but perhaps one of the more mediocre songs on the album.
The album ends with "A Certain Romance", a song which despite not being a single was given extensive airplay by BBC radio, and rightly so, as it is a perfect way to end the album. It sounds a bit lighter than the other songs but the dourness of living in modern Britain is never far away from Turner's lyrics: "The points that's there ain't no romance around there/And there's the truth that they can't see/They'd probably like to throw a punch at me/And if you could only see them, then you would agree"
Well as you can see I am hugely impressed with this album. I have owned for a long time now but it is still never far from my CD player. In Alex Turner the Artic Monkeys have a talented frontman who is immensely talented at writing interesting lyrics about modern life, which is no mean feat. The state of music today in Britain has come under a lot of criticism, which a huge amount of mediocre English so-called "indie" bands saturating the charts. It is obvious that the like of "The Pidgeon Detectives"," The Enemy" and the like would kill for an ounce of Alex Turner's songwriting ability showcased on this album. With their catchy songs and lyrics that the youth today can actually relate to with out being preached at, Artic Monkeys surely can lay claim to be one of the best bands in music today, because in my opinion "Whatever People Say I Am That's What I'm Not" is easily one of the best albums released in the last ten years, and the way things are going probably the best we are going to hear in a long time.
'Whatever People Say I Am. That's What I'm Not' was released in January 2006 and was the debut album from indie rock band Arctic Monkeys. It was very successful reaching the number one spot in the UK Album Charts.
I purchased this album after hearing the song 'I Bet That You Look Good On The Dancefloor' on the radio and was very impressed. After listening to the album i found there was lots of other brilliant songs on it and I think the reason I loved it so much is because it's very original and different to most of stuff in the market(when it was first released anyway).
Four years after buying this album I still listen to it constantly and never get bored of the catchy melodies and wonderful lyrics.
In all, this is a fantastic album - I'd even stretch to say one of the best ever - packed full of fantastic songs.
The Arctic monkeys certainly did burst on the the scene in some style when they released their debut album in 2006. It certainly did shock British music into life as im sure many did not expect to here such a raw an energetic band since Oasis had burst onto the scene more than 10 years previously.
The album goes with a bang from start to finish stopping to take breath somewhere in the middle. All of the songs seem very real and in touch with what the youngster are feeling and experiencing when the album was released. Tales of bouncers not letting you in the club and under age drinkers will all make you remember your youth and for that this album is worth the buy. It is chock full with song that you will instantly fall in love with from the soft mellowness of riot van to the fast paced tracks of I bet you look good on the dancefloor and A certain romance amongst other.
This album combines catchy riffs, clever lyrics and a good mix of songs to make one of the albums of the decades. It feels very raw and gritty and it will leave you shocked as your head is almost pulled into a mosh pit for the duration and at the end you wondering what just happened to you.
It is a truly fantastic album. Great for listening to when you are getting in the mood to go out or driving along the motor way at high speeds. It will not let you down.
Before going into detail; wow. That's the easiest way to describe this album. It really is phenomenal. It's the Arctics' debut album, released in January 2003 under the Domino record label; and it's a cracker.
The album electrifies into life with the opening track 'View from the afternoon', which really demonstrates how good the lead singer (Alex Turner) is at writing both melodies and lyrics. All songs on the album are from a first person perspective, and uses Turners' experiences in and around Sheffield as a base; and the first song is no different. The duel guitar work is also awesome on this track, and it shows that Turner (lead) and Jamie Cook (rhythm) have been playing guitar together since the age of 10. Anyway, back to the album....
The second track 'I bet you look good on the dancefloor' is widely known, and is the first single from the album which went straight to number 1. It bought the Sheffield foursome huge success, and shot them into the music limelight.
The third and fourth tracks, 'Fake tales of San Francisco' and 'Dancing shoes' respectively, are similar in the fact that they are built around funky guitar riffs, and witty lyrics; both with heavy, yet catchy choruses.
'You probably couldn't see for the lights..' and 'Still take you home' are both centred around Turners experience of nights out in Sheffield, and are both poetic and raw, and continue with the 'danceable' sound of the album.
'Riot van' slows proceedings somewhat, and is my least favourite track from the album, but things soon perk up again with 'Red light indicates doors are secured', tight drumming and a delightful bassline combining to produce a fantastic song. 'Mardy Bum' is a classic 'summer song' that could brighten any day; and is followed by the heaviest song on the album 'Perhaps vampires is a bit strong but..'.
Track number 11 is the now infamous 'When the sun goes down', which, if you haven't yet heard, you should be ashamed! A great song all round, lyrically and melodically amazing throughout.
'From the ritz to the rubble' is about a night out in Sheffield (at the club 'Leadmill' for anyone interested..), before the album closes perfectly with the track 'A certain romance', which ends proceedings with a bang; and gives the album the send off it deserves.
For better or for worse, the Arctic Monkeys are here to stay, it seems. Their album Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not was a MASSIVE success, causing mentally ill music magazines like NME to deem them better than The Beatles. I gave this album a listen, and whilst I recognise the appeal, to me it just seems a bit soulless.
The band rose to fame with their first single, I Bet You Look On The Dancefloor, which is probably the best song on the album - it's a rousing number and one that'll fill the dancefloor without a doubt. This is one song that I feel really hits all the right notes, although even this I feel doesn't escape that Indie stamp, where it just sounds a LOT like everything else that's getting released - the twangy guitars, the accents from somewhere up North, self-consciously sketchy instrument work etc.
When The Sun Goes Down was also the second single and it's a decent enough track - it's quite repetitive but the instruments are quite crisp compared to the rest of the tracks on the album, and it's definitely very memorable thanks to some solid hooks and riffs.
Perhaps I just don't listen to enough music from this decade but I just find something like this pretty uninspired - it sounds the same as The Fratellis and all those other Indie bands to me - dull despite the fact that it shouldn't be given it's a bunch of guys in a room with lots of energy.
I hate people who dislike something just because it's popular, so please understand that it isn't me just doing that. I just can't make sense of what people find so utterly astounding about this album - for my money, it doesn't really have much nuance of flair, it's just fairly catchy and that's it. But why are NME calling it a classic for the ages? I just don't see it.
So many bands these days get hyped up as being "the next big thing" and so few deliver. I am glad to tell you that the arctic monkeys debut album 'whatever people say i am, that's what i'm not' has not just lived up to the hype but if possible it has surpassed it. Deservidely it became one the fastest selling album in UK history. Featuring huge hits such as 'I bet you look good on the dancefloor', 'Mardy bum' and 'When the sun goes down'. If you loved the singles then you'll love the album, from track one through to track thirteen it's fast paced catchy and quick witted. The album dose have its slower points like 'Riot van' which may seem to finish to soon at only Two minutes and fourteen seconds, but never the less it's a fantastic song. It's hard to play favourites with an album packed full great songs, but in this case i can personaly say that my favourite song on the album has to be 'A certain romance' a beautifuly crafted masterpiece thats still a little rough around the edges. The perfect blend, and that goes for the whole album. It truley is a must own album.
A brilliant debut album from the Arctic Monkeys. Has some brilliant sounds to it. None of the songs do you ever get the urge to turn over and skip it. Every song is catchy, upbeat and generally fantastic. The highlight for me is When the sun goes down, the song has real meaning and how the song is put together is also excellent. The album describes British life with some really catchy and well written lyrics. Sung over the top of upbeat Indie-Rock backing with excellent guitar riffs and drum soloes throughout. The drumming keeps all the songs going and puts them one stage ahead of others. The band definately have hints of Kaizerchiefs, and the Libertines about them, and despite it being a great album the media and overplaying of the album have lead to this type of sound becoming all too samey in British rock, making the album seem less brilliant. As although the vocals and musical playing are top rate, the fact that this type of sound has been done before drags it down abit.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 The View From The Afternoon
2 I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor
3 Fake Tales Of San Francisco
4 Dancing Shoes
5 You Probably Couldnt See For The Lights But You Were Looking Straight At Me
6 Still Take You Home
7 Riot Van
8 Red Light Indicates Doors Are Secured
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 A Certain Romance