Tuesday, January 24, 2006

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

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Well if one thing is certain, this should win the award for the most hyped album of 2006 by quite some way. You can criticise your Mariah's and your Justin's all you want, but when it comes to over-blown hype, the indie crowd can ruckus with the best of them.

Indeed the barrage of "the future of British music" hype that has surrounded the Monkeys in a way kept me away from them for quite some time. In fact, I'd completely ignored "I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor" apart from the occasional MTV video watching spree, and it was only upon hearing latest single "When The Sun Goes Down", on Soccer AM of all places, that I really started to think that there may be something to them after all.

The pleasing news is that this indeed is a corking debut album, if not quite the corking debut album the "10 out of 10" NME review made it out to be. (Don't worry, I haven't resorted to buying the NME, my "hip" mate had a copy). The two singles are quality indeed, and are only amongst the highlights on the album. "Mardy Bum" lives up to the promise of it's classic title, and the album kicks off on a stormer with "The View From The Afternoon". The pleasant surprise on the album is the slow-burning "Riot Van" which suggests there might be even better things to come from the band.

Lyrically the album is up there with Pulp for its quirky and unique look at British life (there must be something in the water in Sheffield) but the tunes don't always quite manage to live up to the words. Still it's an instant crowd-pleasing album and whilst it never quite totally lives up to the hype, there is enough here for you to see why the hype was forthcoming from certain circles.

And let's face it, anything which shows up the Kaiser Cheifs for the posturing show-ponies they undoubtedly are is worth a recommendation in my book!

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