This is one addictive listen. I haven't repeat listened to anything so much in years (not even their first album, and that is saying something)
This album is a huge step forward that I'll bet alot of people didn't expect from the band. Far from cracking under the pressure the Arctic Monkeys have delivered one heck of a strong album, an effort to be proud of.
Songs like 'Teddy Picker,' and 'Balaclava,' give listeners what they've came to expect from the band, with jaunty riffs, brash chords and their unique brand of lyrical genius (fans will know what I mean)
And songs like 'Only Ones Who Know,' display a melancholy ballad-ry like 'No Buses,' or 'Riot Van.'
A special mention is also in order for drummer Matt Helders who's skill has improved exponentially, impressive considering most people would already say he's the most talented member. The fills on this record are awesome, and his technical disco meets rock swagger style fits the album very well.
The stand out songs are the energetic 'This House is a Circus,' the chilled out '505,' and the aforementioned 'Teddy Picker.'
Buy this right now, you won't hear a better album this year; its basically still the Arctic Monkeys sound, but executed and produced much better, a mature and professional version of the raw and lovable debut.
on 29 April 2007
This is the second album release from the popular Sheffield lads, the Arctic Monkeys. Love them or hate them, you simply cannot ignore them. Their second offering really is something special.
This thirty eight minute performance flies by before you know it, and Alex Turner and the gang really seem to step up a gear this time around. So, the opening track, curiously titled 'Brianstorm', is a three-minute punk thrash, and it should be noted that the plaudits should be given for the rather outstanding musicianship on show here, especially the furious drumming throughout. And this track is named 'Brianstorm', after the ex-East 17 man, Brian Harvey, so I'm told. However, that is irrelevant here, and the track itself, which is the album's first release, merits a 10/10.
Track two, 'Teddy Picker', is a catchy one. Combining a distinctive Monkeys sound with Turner's unique lyrics and sound (as is always on an AM album), this is probably a future release. Again, a rather punk feel is in the song while maintaining a solid, modern beat. 'Who'd want to be men of the people when there's people like you?' Turner asks. 10/10.
Track three, 'D Is For Dangerous', is the weakest song on the album in my opinion. It's a bit too flat, maybe, and similar all the way throughout. It's a step back from the first two tracks, which were stormers. Nevertheless, it's catchy, and the witty lyrics are as prominent as always. I'll give it 7/10.
Track four, 'Balaclava', is different, and that's why I like it. It has a melodic guitar sound before exploding into a heavier rock sound, and alternating on a pendulum scale. It's very good music. I especially like the end- the last fourty seconds or so with the bass and effective percussion. This, in my opinion, is a future release. Don't bet against it. 10/10.
Track five, 'Fluorescent Adolescent', will possibly also be a future release. I can see it as a future Monkeys' classic. The lyrics are brilliant, and Turner really proves his pedigree here. 10/10.
Track six, 'Only Ones Who Know', is a lovely, drift-away ballad. The softest song the Monkeys have written, and quite possibly one of the best, as it shows their diversity as a band, which is a telltale sign of a band's maturity, which is baffling, as this is only their second full-length album. 'They made it far too easy to believe that true romance can't be achieved these days,' Turner croons melancholily. This is a sad song in all honesty, and the music and lyrics are so gripping, that you have no choice but to agree with Turner's lyrics. 10/10.
Track seven, 'Do Me A Favour', is slightly heavier to begin than the previous offering, but it speeds up and livens up both in tempo and in style. 'Do me a favour and break my nose,' Turner says rather wearily, as if he's lost patience with whoever he's talking to in the song. 9/10.
Track eight, 'This House Is A Circus', is where the Monkeys start to grit their teeth and show some of their Sheffield steel in their music. This track and the next track also sees the Monkeys flexing their musical muscles by unleashing a few darker, heavier numbers. This one sees the Monkeys in a rather experimental mode, and it's excellent. 10/10.
Track nine, 'If You Were There, Beware', sees the Monkeys carrying on from where they left off last time, more or less. A simple, unassuming riff repeats itself before the rest of the music is unleashed in a barrage of riffs and drum beats like a proverbial hailstorm. The melodic pieces are melodic, and the heavier pieces are, well...heavy. Very heavy. With about two minutes remaining of the song, it develops some sort of an anthemic grandeur before Turner's muffled vocals cover dreamy, yet dark music. 'I don't know what it is that they want, but I haven't got it to give,' he wails. One of the best tracks on the album. 10/10.
Track ten, 'The Bad Thing', is slightly reminiscent of The Smiths, in my opinion. Some might disagree, but I see it as The Smiths with more of a punk twist to them, possibly Clash-esque with a hint of The Jam. The song itself is very catchy; prominent bass-lines, dominating vocals, punchy guitar riffs, and great drumming. 9/10.
Track eleven, 'Old Yellow Bricks', begins with a rather White Stripes riff, before the drums inject more of a punk spark a la Razorlight into the music. The chorus is dreamy yet effective, and signals a very strong ending towards the album. 10/10.
Track twelve, '505', is a brilliant album closer. While there is something dark about the song, there remains a romantic ethos as well here. The song builds up slowly to a crescendo. This is most definitely one of the best songs on the album, and an excellent album closer, as I have already stated. 10/10.
So, the conclusion is that FWN is a true sign of the Monkeys growing up as individuals and as a band. Where as the first offering was more raw, this album has a more accomplished sound to it. Alex Turner has also come up with better lyrics this time than he did 15 months ago on the debut. The debut might have been more of an instant hit, but this offering is more of a grower. Turner famously declared: "Don't believe the hype," back in 2005, but you'd better well had by now. 9/10.
on 27 April 2007
Without sounding too flippant,I can describe this album as George Formby with depth.This album will be a cert for No 1,hopefully for a few weeks,though at the moment there is intense competition in the UK album charts.There will always be room there for the Arctic Monkeys,and however slick you may think they are,they are a very individual band,like no other band at the moment.
Alex Turner's voice is stronger on this album than on "People",and there is a stirring,solid wall of excellent guitars and drums on most tracks.The album is more urgent in tone also than "People".It's a bit of a grower too,with provocative tracks like "Fluorescent Adolescent"being worth a listen or two.
Best tracks are "If You Were There,Beware The Bad Thing" and unexpectedly tender "505",as tender as the Monkeys can safely get without looking like softies,ending the album.A suitable single "Old Yellow Bricks"is a parody of The Wizard Of Oz,and another track I liked "D Is For Dangerous"is prickly and world-weary.
Shades of the group Madness come over on "This House Is A Circus"("this house is a circus....berserk as f...k").But don't listen to this album if you are depressed-it is industrial and dark in tone,with an acerbic thread running through it.
That said,it is a very enjoyable listen and cynical in a good way.
on 13 January 2008
One of the biggest Indie Rock bands return with a powerful energized sequel, that doesn't fail to please. Listeing to the singles 'Brianstorm', 'Fluorescent Adolescent' and 'Teddy Pciker' prove to you that this album is going to be good. For anyone who has their debut album, it may take a bit to get use to, as this is nothing like their previous one. It's that different, I can't compare and say which one is better. But believe me, it really is an outstanding album. One disapointment about it that I actually feel applies to their previous album, is that I feel that they rushed through it, as the twelve tracks seem to fly buy within twenty minutes. Overall, if you liked the singles, then you'll love this. If you like Arctic Monkeys, it'll take a bi to get use to their new style, but it truly is great.
-Do Me A Favour