Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Arctic Monkeys - Favourite Worst Nightmare

We venture into Sophomore territory with Arctic Monkeys fast paced follow up to 2006's chart topping album Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not. The band prove that it's not that difficult to tour an album, then release a second album within one year of the debut release. At the time the band were highly rated to become one of Britain's best bands for a very long time, so this album has to stick right? I don't think it did.. I also don't think they took enough time planning and recording this album.

Brainstorm couldn't be a better opener, in your face, fast paced.. everything rushing, until it breaks down and starts the opening track jam. It's over before you realise it. It was my alarm clock for about two years. I don't even want to attempt to count the amount of times this has scared the living shit out of me, it's incredibly loud. Everything sounds so perfect together, but for an opener it's not very appetising. it doesn't give anything other than a faster pace and shorter song.

The following two tracks are very good single tracks, both lyrically suitable and the melodies work very well. Teddy Picker being remembered for it's riff, which isn't that amazing or pleasing on the ear. It's not very gritty, it just works well with the bass. It does pick up with a 'chorus', but it's just not that strong.

D Is For Dangerous is another 2 minute track which has bland bass work and no form of raw energy, which we heard on the debut. The vocals have been heavily effected, it's not just this track though. Every so often on this album you'll hear a faint, slightly distorted vocal by both Alex and his backup lads at certain points. Again, it suffers from being too short. But I wouldn't want to hear this for 5 minutes, it's sad.. Not the fact that they haven't created something more rewarding, but because they could create better songs than this, with much, much better structure and dynamics. It's extremely weak.

Fluorescent Adolescent ends the opening quartet with a great Indie anthem. Alex's vocals are particular noticeable, the effects used on his voice are very very good, yet repetitive. he has amazing flow, with better lyrics than the previous three tracks. It does sound messy in places, I think they could have worked on making the song more melodic, but it's the best song on the album.. Clearly.

Only One Who Knows, is my personal favourite track, it's also the toned down, slow track that every album should have. Lyrics again, are the focal point of this song. The guitar work is extremely melancholy, with great use of the slide. It's a breaking point on the album. Unfortunately the back half of the album doesn't reach any new heights, it tumbles into filler.

The debut album was raw and energetic. Here, we have energetic songs, sure.. But they're very dense and messy. Lyrics are at times sloppy, but for the majority of the songs, the lyrics are strong and feature imagery which Alex Turner gives across well. Production has certainly effected the bands sound, I think this is a step back from the well produced and gritty debut.


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