Arctic Monkeys

Favourite Worst Nightmare

Written by: TL on 06/05/2007 20:35:43

Apparently someone in the music press of today is starting to believe the hype they themselves have been whipping up during the last year or so, as it seems from how the reviews I've read so far have lined up very nicely in order to take turns at praising the British supernovas in Arctic Monkeys for what they proclaim is a more than a somewhat succesful sophomore effort.

Granted, you have to give it to the monkeys for smithing while the iron is hot, as they've decided to record their second full length so soon after their debut, in spite of the fact that they've had to change their bassist after their entry in the limelight. However, as you might have cleverly been able to deduct from the tone of my introduction I am not exactly about to join the stream of praise being directed towards the brit-punk upstarts, and during the course of the following ramblings, you might also be able to cleverly deduct my motivations for swimming up this particular stream.

Just as on the debut, the monkeys take us on a rackety ride on a (band)wagon through their characteristic nocturnal-urban soundscape, complete with funky guitar-riffs by the bucket load. Alex Turner hasn't changed much in the short timespan either, as he continues his very unique vocal style hinting perhaps only a little of Damon Albarn. The changes present here come in much the same form as they came when the similar Brit's in Razorlight released their sophomore last year. The explosive garage-punk energy that fueled the early record has been moved a couple of steps backwards in order to employ a heavier focus on diversity in the songwriting, effectively making Favourite Worst Nightmare a more subtle album than Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not.

This would all be very well and adorable as long as the monkeys had actually suceeded in creating songs that were capable of really grabbing your attention in a stronger and more convincing fashion than the old ones did, however, that does not seem to be the case. Granted, songs like "Do Me A Favour" and "Flourescent Adolescent" are among the catchier on this record while being somewhat more quiet than we would expect from the monkeys, but otherwise it's the well known speed and attitude of songs like "The Bad Thing" that really rock on this album, though still never really coming close to the effect "I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor" and other first generation AM songs could produce.

Thus Favourite Worst Nightmare stands as an album that serves to extend the dark soundscapes that are so charming about this band, but without more attention-grabbing and dance-urging songs, the novelty of the monkeys' world just quickly wears off, and you'll most likely forget about this album as soon as something more complete comes along and seduces your ears. Overloaded with style but crucially lacking the magic components.


Download: Flourescent Adolescent, The Bad Thing, Do Me A Favour
For the fans of: Razorlight, Franz Ferdinand, The Strokes, Bloc Party
Listen: MySpace

Release Date 24.04.2007

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