Arctic Monkeys: Favourite Worst Nightmare

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Albums  Arctic Monkeys  Alternative 

Written By:

Gavin Riley

23rd April 2007
At 00:54 GMT

2 comment(s)

Its been a decade since the hysteria of "Britpop" began to decline. Back then a duff album by Oasis would still garner three quarters of a million album sales in its first week.

Although the past few years have been very good for music, bundles of fine releases, few have gone the extra mile and made an impression in terms of sales.

This all changed when the Arctic Monkeys released 'Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not' back in early 2006. They sold over 300,000 copies in the first week of sale, and then inevitably, came the proclamations that "Britpop" was back.

It hasn't quite got to the point of Alex Turner sipping champagne with Tony Blair, but if you've been reading the newspapers today with you'd be forgiven for thinking Britpop was back in full swing. Yes they may be dating glamour models, but The Arctic Monkeys have certainly not released a 'Be Here Now'.

The LP itself 'Favourite Worst Nightmare' is a steady progression from their debut. It's certainly a bit heavier. Single 'Brianstorm' is the ferocious opener, a ditty regarding a ladies man. But then sadly, the album meanders about, sounding rather hollow.

Tracks like 'Teddy Picker' and 'Balaclava' appear over-produced, although are sure to go down well on the indie dancefloors with lines like ''Now the shaggers perform/and the daggers are drawn".

'Flourescent Adolescent' joins 'Old Yellow Bricks' as the only other songs of note. Allowing these tracks to have a tuneful pop hook is a welcome change, because ultimately, the album is rather short of a tune. But these two tracks, combined with lyrics like "You used to get it in your fishnets/Now you only get it in your nightdress" save the LP from the proverbial hyped-up scrapheap.

The Guardian wrote regarding their debut album: "The spectre of Oasis lurks around Arctic Monkeys, proof that even the most promising beginnings can turn into a dreary, reactionary bore. For now, however, they look and sound unstoppable." Skip forward two years, and how the tables have turned. At least 'Be Here Now' did something - it killed Britpop.

'Favourite Worst Nightmare' will not scare off die hard fans, nor the bandwagon media, but it is rather sadly insignificant. Underwhelming even. Yes, they have managed to follow up Britain's biggest debut selling record, and doubtless, this will sell more, but is is hard to see where they go from here next.

Rating:  6 / 10

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