Sound — 9
I don't think there's anything 'clever' about this album at all. It's excellence is from the non-caring attitude. The punk era that comprised four guys who wanted to play music is perfectly personified, and justifiably successful. It's people venting themselves to an audience who adore something that they can listen to and identify with. This album tears you from whatever you're doing, and inserts you beautifully into the life of an incredibly observant teenager.
Lyrics — 9
A cross between Paul Weller and Mike Skinner perfectly describes the Arctic Monkeys. Funny, observant, and real. I don't feel Alex's voice detracts from the music in the slightest, it complements it excellently, I wouldn't want the lyrics sung perfectly, I couldn't imagine the singer experiencing those things if they were pitch perfect, they're flawed, and that's why it's nice. If you set out to create a band like this, I doubt you could. The songs are poetic, but not patronising. It'll be interesting to see what becomes of the Arctic Monkeys with their new-found fame, when what made them has been their 'down-to-earth' recounting of their world.
Overall Impression — 9
Take the Jam, maybe Madness, and the raw commentary from early Oasis, and this is what you come up with. Innovative, perhaps not, but maybe that's the point. It's genuine British music, returned to it's roots. A wakeup call to remind us of what we've been missing.