Monday, March 1, 2010

Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not


Big and loud and NOT dumb, this band deserve all the accolades hurled at them.  Their music's fun and dancey and rocky and has clever lyrics - although it's a bit girl-hatey.  It really takes me back to my yoof, and the excitable music emerging from the punk scene in the late 70s and early 80s.  But it's better, because these guys aren't singing about despair and boring authority figures.

They're unashamedly British and they even sound like they're having fun.  It's great gym music, driving music, and can even get me bopping around the kitchen.  A real keeper.



Arctic Monkeys restored my faith in modern music.  No, seriously, they did.  I like a lot of music but have to say I'm not generally impressed overall with a lot of the crop of new bands.  I like to consider myself open-minded and think I have a pretty good ear yet while I tried really hard to like a swag of different new bands, most just annoyed me.  Then along came the Monkeys.

Everything they did seemed to be uncompromising, from refusing to kowtow to record company men to playing the press off against itself by telling fibs in interviews.  This worked hugely in their favour as it created such a strong grass-roots following both in real life and, despite the band's admitted lack of knowledge on how the internet worked, online as well.  The band's fan-created Myspace page became immensely popular and gave the band additional publicity so that by the time the first single from this album, I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor, was released, it went straight to number one on the charts in England.  Second single, When The Sun Goes Down, followed suite.

With the release of Whatever People Say..., their popularity was without doubt.  The album went straight to the top of the charts in the UK and Australia and became the fastest selling album in British history.  It also went to number one in Ireland and cracked the Top Ten in various European nations as well as Japan and New Zealand.  The album went on to win Best British Album at both the Mercury Prize and the Brit Awards.

While all this is well and good, it could have all been hype-driven had the band not been something more.  Thankfully, they live up to all the accolades, composing taut, intelligent and cheeky musical tales of urban British youth that transcend borders while losing none of their original voice.  These are written in the local vernacular yet the themes are international and as old as rock and roll; girls, trouble and partying and once again proving the simple things really are the best.

VERDICT: TURN IT UP and put on your dancing shoes, sexy little swine.

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In our collection we also have Favourite Worst Nightmare and Humbug 

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