This May Be Love: Arctic Monkeys- Favourite Worst Nightmare

hiatus1001.jpgOne of the biggest challenges for a band is trying to follow a great first album with an even better second album. The expectations are so high that when the band doesn’t live up to those expectations, the fallout is immense. The risks are great, but the rewards are even greater, for if they succeed in pleasing the masses, the sky is the limit for their popularity.

This is the crossroads that the UK sensation The Arctic Monkeys faced with the release of their sophomore album Favourite Worst Nightmare. The band burst on to the scene with their first album Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not with hits like “I Bet That You Look Good On The Dance Floor” and “A Certain Romance” and received numerous Best Album of the Year Awards including the prestigious ranking of 5th Greatest British Album of All Time in the January 2006 edition of NME magazine. With all the hype and accolades that their first album racked up, the band had to come up big for their second album.

Unfortunately, this new album doesn’t come close to measuring up to the first. The first album was hard-rocking, head-banging, good ole’ fashioned anarchy. The songs were catchy, they made you want to get up and create havoc. The lyrics were easy to catch on to and about everything we love about rock music songs: bouncers, booze, and broads.

Nightmare lacks the good beats and fun lyrics of Whatever People Say I Am. Instead of heavy and fast guitar distortion with thick British lyrics, you get awkwardly clean guitar with light, haunting singing and complicated lyrics, resulting in no clear cut great radio single or any song to really get excited about. The song that more closely resembles their original sound is “D is for Dangerous” which may be the best song on the album, but not many others really do it for me.

However there is plenty to get excited about here in the evolutionary sense of the band. The lyrics give the most evidence of the growth the band underwent in between albums, as here they are more poetic and dark, while the first album’s lyrics are much simpler. They also seem to be experimenting much more here, as their songs change speeds and styles frequently.

Considering this, the best of the Arctic Monkeys might still be on the horizon, as they get older and wiser and fine-tune their skills. It still will be difficult to beat the popularity of their first album, and they may never beat it, but like most humans, sometimes you have to go through an ugly transition before the best in you comes out.

Overall, i give it 3 guitars. Its worth the buy if your a fan already, but plan on listening to it a lot before you start to like it.


-Kid Zeppelin


Album List:

  1. Brainstorm– 2:50
  2. Teddy Picker – 2:43
  3. D Is for Dangerous – 2:16
  4. Balaclava – 2:49
  5. Fluorescent Adolescent – 2:57
  6. Only Ones Who Know – 3:02
  7. Do Me a Favour – 3:27
  8. This House Is a Circus – 3:09
  9. If You Were There, Beware – 4:34
  10. The Bad Thing – 2:23
  11. Old Yellow Bricks – 3:11
  12. 505 – 4:13

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