Sat on a train, gazing contemplatively at the rolling English countryside with the raspy tone of Alex Turner in my ear, I thought "Hey Mols, write something". Aah writing. Whatever happened to just writing? So here I am, poised with my lined paper and Biro in hand aloft the rickety fold down table ready to pour out my innermost thoughts. Well, not really. But I am going to review arguably the best album in the world.
Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not
Before the music even becomes part of a sound wave, the album cover (an unshaven man holding a cigarette to his mouth squinting smugly towards the camera lens) is already suggesting that the Arctic Monkeys are brewing up a storm of songs full of mischief and mayhem. The lyrics generally focus on many aspects of a night out; from being 'on the pull' to facing the bouncers of a nightclub and even to the troublesome acts of the youth, with the odd poetic lyric adding a hint of romance to the mix. Ever present are the memorable guitar riffs and addictive drum beats that cause even the stiffest person to tap their foot.
I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor
I'll always be fond of this track as it was the song that kick started my obsession with the Arctic Monkeys. Seemingly the most well known track on the album, it is a sure song to get me (as I'm sure many others) onto the dancefloor. The inescapable electric guitar introduction delves into the driven melody within the verse which then builds into a hyped up complete mosher of a song. Yes, mosher is my new word for songs that allow moshing to take place, or are moshable, per say.
Although it's almost impossible to choose a favourite song by the Arctic Monkeys, Dancing Shoes is definitely one of my go-to tracks. Matt shows off the power of percussion with a compelling, hip gyrating driven beat as Alex sings "get on your dancing shoes, you sexy little swine" in his broad Yorkshire dialect. Oh, F.Y.I, he is totes talking to me there.
Still Take You Home
Presenting this track with the raw sound of an amplifier acclimatising and a tuning guitar, listeners are invited to enter a place in which songs are created and music is produced. The chords launch into another foot tapping song. With lyrics such as "you just probably areet but under these lights yo look beautiful" sung at a frenetic pace, Alex Turner uses his utterly charming voice to make generically unromantic lyrics cause girls to fall weak at the knees with the rebellious tone. Swoon.
When The Sun Goes Down
As the imperfect sound of the pick striking the strings of an acoustic guitar echoes, a voice singing wholesome lyrics starts off the song. Eh? Arctic Monkeys? Oh no, that isn't the Arctic Monkeys at all. Almost as soon as the stripped back music has begun, the mood deteriorates and the verse ends with the comment "he's a scum bag don't you know" reverting back to the 'I don't give a fuck' attitude that Alex Turner exudes effortlessly with his voice. A dischordent strike hits and we're off, hurled into a catchy riff and driving percussion force, immediately drawing Arctic Monkeys fans back to what we know best.
Six years on from it's release and I still consider Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not to be one of the best albums I have ever heard. The sheer abruptness of the lyrics sung in the addictive twang that Alex Turner uses to his advantage, the driving force of the drum beat pumping the songs along and the insanely cool style of guitar riffs and rhythms specific to the band create a perfect album.
Phew. Now my hand hurts but it's okay because my ears are well and truly satisfied.