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Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not (2006) – Album Review

During the last few months, I have been listening to a band called Arctic Monkeys. Arctic Monkeys are a band from the United Kingdom that played a part in the garage rock revival during the 2000s and are known for utilizing indie rock, alternative rock and post-punk in their music. Formed in 2002 in Sheffield, Arctic Monkeys received public attention in England via the Internet and are wildly considered to be one of the first bands to receive attention on social media, changing the ways new bands were being marketed and promoted. The band had released a handful of EPs, which contained the first two singles, I Bet You Look Good On The Dance Floor and When The Sun Goes Down, before releasing their debut album, Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, in early 2006. The album received critical and commercial success, becoming the fastest-selling debut album on the UK Charts.

This album features musical styles well-known during the 2000s, such as indie rock, post-punk revival, punk rock and Britpop, and the lyrical content sees Alex Turner, the band’s frontman, talking about the nightlife in England, including stories of clubbing, drinking and romance from the perspective of Young Northerners. This is the first time listening to this album in full and I must say, I was very impressed by the way the band tackled these subjects and Turner’s introspective songwriting is astounding, as he manages to get into the details of the lifestyle of the British culture.

This album is well-known for its two singles, I Bet You Look Good On The Dance Floor and When The Sun Goes Down, and both singles are fantastic, especially I Bet You Look Good, which is an Arctic Monkeys classic. Once you hear those opening riffs, you know you’re in for a ride. The album features a lot of bangers and offer much more than just the two singles. The View From The Afternoon is a terrific album opener that lets you know what to expect from this album: fast-paced, guitar driven bangers that keeps the listener hooking from start to finish. The band do a great job in crafting these songs and it’s a shame that this is the only that features the original bassist Andy Nicholson, as his bass work on this album is fantastic.

One of my favorite tracks on this album is Tales of San Francisco, which sees Alex telling the story of an English band that has come to San Francisco and I love how he gets into the details of the story. I also love the fast guitar work on this track, as well as the drumming. From The Ritz to The Rubble is also another favorite moment on this album, as the drumming by Matt Helders is incredible and Alex shines vocally throughout the track. Still Take You Home has an incredible bassline that manages to elevate the track further and A Certain Romance manages to wrap everything on this album nicely. The band also showcase their versatility, as they manage slow the mood down on certain tracks, such as Riot Van and Mardy Bum.

There are some tracks that don’t much for me, such as Red Light and You Probably Couldn’t See, but even with these tracks, they aren’t really bad and don’t detract from the listening experience. Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not is a great introduction to one of the greatest bands of the 21st century and one of the most memorable debut albums in the last 15 years. I’m planning to review every Arctic Monkeys album and showcase my opinions on them soon.

Rating: 4.5/5


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