Tuesday, 31 July 2007

ARCTIC MONKEYS - Favourite Worst Nightmare (2007)

Like a hyper kinetic kid that always has problems with his teachers and mathematics, Alex Turner sings in a vertiginous way with all the words that his tongue and his lungs let him modulate, without taking care of the timing and the rhyme. But it’s infectious; you never get bored with his style, which gives more energy to the music than the riff guitars, although all the instruments are played in a strong way. In fact the opening track “Brianstorm” has a demolition intro with drums and bass, an excellent choice to introduce Favourite Worst Nightmare.

Although the Arctic Monkeys are talked about as being really new band, being new in rock and roll is quite a hard thing to do. I could say that they have a ‘new’ style, or at least when you listen to the Arctic Monkeys you don’t try to link their music with other bands. For this reason all people talk about them like ‘the new saviour of rock and roll’, but for me rock and roll is saving itself everyday in thousands of bands that never reach the mainstream and play without earning a pound or a dollar. By the way, putting on the shoulders of four young men the heavy burden of being the ‘saviour of rock and roll’, is too much, and The Beatles were The Beatles.

Favourite Worst Nightmare is an amazing LP, an improvement from their debut, the acclaimed Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not. It is an improvement because its songs have more personality, more careful arrangements and more demanding vocal work. Although the sound of the guitars, bass and drums are similar on each song, the LP doesn’t sound like a long track of thirty-seven minutes with a dozen of little mute pauses.

A sarcastic and conceited smile flows from the first to last track, “the confidence is the balaclava” they say while they hit their darts on the third millennium yuppies (“Brianstorm”) or the second millennium old neighbours friends (“Fluorescent Adolescent”), although a couple of quiet tracks with more mature lyrics appear on the LP (“Only Ones Who Know”, “Do Me A Favour”, “505”), “Do the bad thing” is the concept (“Take off your wedding ring, But it wont make it that much easier, it might make it worse”).

Favourite Worst Nightmare is not an LP where you would easily find songs that could be promotional singles, the commercial success seemed to be an aim far from their music, but it is precisely what gives them success. You have other bands and singer that have recorded the choruses that you can download as ring tones to your cellular phone.

Finally I can’t resist to compare Arctic Monkeys with The Ramones, a band that only have one musical idea and development that through 30 years without a smash hit (the only way to recognise the songs from the 70’s to the songs of the 80’s or the 90’s is the technical quality of the recording), but influenced thousand of bands all over the world.

Published on Blogcritics on 30-07-2007

Also available on Buy.com

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