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 (611 votes)
Arctic Monkeys: Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not

Sound — 10
The sound on this album is nothing revolutionary. It's nothing that hasn't been done before, but this Yorkshire four piece carry a swagger and natural talent not seen since "Definitely Maybe" hit the shelves nearly a decade ago. This album is a non-stop ride, no filler just pure energy. If you're more into slower, acoustic things this isn't for you, it's electric madness, with the closest to a ballad being still-class "Riot Van." Yet while not offering any real variety on the two electric guitars/bass/drums set up, they still cram so many different noises, so much brilliance into one tight genre that you never become bored with the album and each song stands on it's own. I read somewhere that their musical style is based only on music of the past decade, which you can definitely hear. The music gives a real vibe of them picking up a Strokes or Libertines album, giving it a listen, and going "fuck, we can do this!" and banging it out in a garage.

Lyrics — 10
The lyrics on this song struck me heavily when I heard them. I'm a thousand miles from them but still the strongs hit me in the chest. The lyrical stories told are great, as opposed to vague lyrical ideas like the grandeur offered by other big bands of today, like U2 or Coldplay, real down to earth, accessible ideas, unjust cops, angry bouncers, fake women, prostitution, wonderfully crafted way of telling how it really is for a 19 year old. Singing wise vocals aren't great but are sung with conviction and without trying to hide his accent which draws kudos from me and critics alike.

Overall Impression — 10
For a first album, it's stunning. Arrogance and energy unseen and hard to imagine from a group of 19 year olds. Radiohead's debut was shaky, Coldplay were very good but not like this, they've really got amazing potential and it's hard to imagine this is a first album. The most impressive songs for me would be "When The Sun Goes Down" or the fantastic closer "A Certain Romance." I love the energy about it all, the raw musicianship and great lyrics, I don't really dislike anything about it although I would be fascinated to hear an acoustic side of them. It's not released here in the U. S. yet, but I had a friend send it to me, and if it were to somehow be erased off my computer, I'd do anything in my power to get it back.

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