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

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  • Released: Jan 23, 2006
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 8.5 (610 votes)
Arctic Monkeys: Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not

Sound — 10
This is the first album from the Yorkshire, two time chart-toppers Arctic Monkeys. In their first video they declare "Don't believe the hype," but I beg to differ after to listening to this album, as the hype seems just to me. The band's sound covers all aspects of british rock worth covering, from punk, ska, pop, rock 'n' roll, and funk. The most obvious influences are; The Clash, The Smiths and The Jam, the usual suspects for the influences of the current crop of British indie bands. However, what sets this band apart, is that they embrace more than just these select groups for influence, they have claimed many times to be fans of Queens Of The Stone Age, and System Of A Down, and if you listen closely you can hear the influence. But more importantly, is that the lads listened predominantly to rap and hip hop growing up, e.g. Roots Manuva, and although it doesnt change the music, it becomes very important in the lyrics of the band. I have read in a review of the album thet "If saturady night fever had been shot in Rotherham it would have sounded like this." I think is a very fair way of describing this album (if you didn't know, it was a positive review), but the album is so much more than that, a better quote from another excellent review is "Possibly the most important record of the 21st Century!" Simply great sound.

Lyrics — 10
This is where the album shines, put simpy, Lex Turner's lyrics describe perfectly how it is to live in Yorkshire in the 21st century, if you live in Yorkshire (like I do) then its like he has held a mirror up to your life. Some examples of the lyrics are: from Riot Van "Hello lads, have you been drinking, you don't look old enough to me, sorry officer is there a certain age your supposed to be?" or from Fake Tales Of San Francisco "The band were fucking wank and I'm not having a nice time!" or the best song lyrically A Certain Romance "Over there, there's broken bones, there's only music so that theres new ringtones." I immediately fell in love with the last lyric, in a time when crazy frog can get a number 1, it sums up the music scene they've come to destroy in one line. Brilliant.

Overall Impression — 10
This album is simply magnificent, it sounds like Mike Skinner (The Streets) singing over a Clash record. The lyrics really made it for me, as they ring true so much to my life right now, but if you like bands like, The Libertines, Kaiser Chiefs, or the '70s punk bands like The Clash or The Stranglers, you should really try this album, as it beats anything of the current music scene, and the band are sure to be even bigger than they already are (almost impossible at the moment here in the UK), and although maybe not a classic album yet, they are only 19 and can only get better, so to classify this album, I would say it is a one of the greatest debuts of all time. This band at the moment in the UK are 'the only band that matters' and this album is definitely worth buying, seeing as though it is "the most important record of the 21st century."

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