While this sophomore release is unmistakably Arctic Monkeys, everything's a little more muscular and aggressive. Each song is embedded with revelatory moments, as if some sort of critical mass is achieved through skillf... more »ul song craft and sharp arrangements until an explosive release of energy or emotion is inevitable. Arctic Monkeys have exceeded expectations with this record.« less
While this sophomore release is unmistakably Arctic Monkeys, everything's a little more muscular and aggressive. Each song is embedded with revelatory moments, as if some sort of critical mass is achieved through skillful song craft and sharp arrangements until an explosive release of energy or emotion is inevitable. Arctic Monkeys have exceeded expectations with this record.
"Picture this: a band of guys that are barely adults come out of nowhere and create an album that although doesn't sell a WHOLE lot (well, in the U.S., anyway), it makes such an impact that it was the fastest selling debut album EVER in their native England, and it was even nominated for two Grammys in the States. Yes, I'm talking about Arctic Monkeys and their electrifying debut, Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not. But then the question is, how do you measure up to something like that? The answer: make an album like Favourite Worst Nightmare.
I initially thought the Monkeys would be taking a break after bassist Andy Nicholson quit the band just before last year's North American tour (which I wish I was at, but it doesn't matter; nobody ever comes to Milwaukee anyway). But in came new bassist Nick O'Malley, and he blends in quite well with the other members. Alex's songwriting is invigorating as always, and he and the rest of the band continue to impress, as shown by tracks like "Old Yellow Bricks" and "Teddy Picker".
One song that I have to mention, though, is the lead single "Brianstorm" (not brainstorm; "BRIANstorm"). That's the album's opening track, and the way those guitars start just blow you away AND invite you in at the same time. It's also interesting to hear a few mellow tracks that don't sound so clichéd, like "Only Ones Who Know" and "505". Speaking of romantic tunes, "The Bad Thing" is pretty funny.
I also like the metaphorical "Balaclava" (which is the proper term for a ski mask; at first I thought it was a unique way of saying "baklava"), but my favorite song on the album would have to be...hell, ALL of them. I don't know what's more impressive, that the Monkeys made another great album, or that they did it all in less than forty minutes. Whatever the case, pick up Favourite Worst Nightmare NOW.
Great second album... Not sure I understand the UK sales str
Paul Allaer | Cincinnati | 04/26/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Arctic Monkeys are a UK phenomenon, with last year's debut album "Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not" selling more than any other debut album, EVER, in UK chart history. It was a great album, no question. Now, only a year later, comes the follow-up album.
"Farvourite Worst Nightmare" (12 tracks, 37 min.) shows the band maturing. While there are still many hard charging songs, such as the lead-off track (and irresistable first single) "Brianstorm", there is a darker side to this album as well. The album is neatly divided into two 6 song cycles, recalling the good ol' vinyl album days. On the first half, in addition to the previously mentioned "Brianstorm", highlights include the urgent "Teddy Picker", the reggae-flavored "Fluorescent Adolescent" and the pensive "Only Ones Who Know". On the second half, my personal favorites are "This House Is a Circus", "If You Were There, Beware" (with great guitar licks,even a solo), and the closer, a misleading 'ballad' "505". In all, quite a satisfying album. I enjoyed it from start to finish and at 37 min. it clips by in no time.
I'm still not sure I understand the UK frenzy over this. I read that the album sold close to 100,000 there on the first day of the release earlier this week. Say what? That said, Arctic Monkeys bring great music, and this album confirms it. I will see them live at Coachella this coming weekend and I can't wait to check them out live to see what the UK hype is all about."
An excellent album from an excellent band
M. Herzog | chicago | 04/28/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Hype is unfair to everyone involved, be it the artist being held to lofty expectations, or to the fan, who rarely can have expectations met. Arctic Monkeys are trapped in the Hype controversey which is unfair, and ignores the band's talent and ability. Their first album was amazing, and with catchy hooks for a fun night on the town. Some liked it, others didn't. This second album will most likely not change anyone's mind who did not like the first. First, the band chose a darker sound with a harsher edge, hurting the fun aspect of the first album. Then there is the issue that there are nothing quite as catchy as I Bet You Look Good On the Dance Floor. But that would again put them into an unfair expectation category to judge them by their past album. As an album, this is a great record, the music works, tight production, and feels like something to put in your car when out on a saturday night with friends. An excellent album. Enjoy it."
Great record, great follow-up
Mylifeyourmovie | New Orleans, LA | 04/29/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Keeping it short: This album definitely has a bit darker feel to it, and as someone else already commented, the production is noticeably a little cleaner and polished...but I don't feel like it detracts from their overall sound, as it still has that characteristic raw edge. I suppose this sort of thing is really up to you to decide.
The songwriting here, as with the last record, is fantastic. I honestly expected a drop off from "Whatever People.." largely because that album was so great. I'm glad to report there is no fall off here, and while I wouldn't necessarily place "Favourite Worst Nightmare" ahead of last year's debut, it undeniably picks up where that album left off. "
Daniel M. Honeywell | Birmingham, Alabama | 04/27/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Reading reviews on this site and elsewhere - people are generally claiming that this CD is either no where near as good as the first or way better. Why?
Not As Good: It does not grab you as quickly as the first one did. It doesn't have some of the tangled poetic wordplay that the first one did. So it is different and it is its being different that causes the debate. Better: Brianstorm rocks. After a few listens however these songs slowly start to creep into your inner ear and stay there. And, there are some classic custs on here: Flourescent Adolescent, Only Ones Who Know, This House Is A Circus, Old Yellow Bricks, 505.
My humble opinion: One is about as great as the other but the first will remain the masterpiece as it was an album that both introduced a new band and grabbed you by the...
In the spirit of being helpful let me point out a few fantastic b-sides and non album tracks that are some of the bands absolutely best songs:
Bigger Boys And Stolen Sweethearts (I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor)
Temptation Greets You Like A Naughty Friend (Brianstorm)
Who The F*** Are Arctic Monkeys (Who The F*** Are Arctic Monkeys)
Despair In The Departure Lounge (Who The F*** Are Arctic Monkeys)
Leave Before The Lights Come On (Leave Before The Lights Come On)
Also, The Leave Before The Lights Come On video is a cool concept.
Lastly, go on YOUTUBE and watch the Christmas message the drummer put out last year. Funny, charming, and down to earth. Oh, and he can play the drums quite good as well...