Release Date: Apr 24, 2007
Record label: Domino
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
Born in the '80s and raised on the Strokes and the Libertines, they treat all rock as a level playing field, loving its traditions but not seeing musical barriers between generations, since the band learned all of rock history at once and now spit it all out in a giddy, cacophonous blend of post-punk and classic rock that sounds fresh, partially because they jam each of their very songs with a surplus of ideas. Some of this was true on their debut album, but it's the restlessness of Favourite Worst Nightmare that impresses -- they're discovering themselves as they go and, unlike so many modern bands, they're interested in the discovery and not appearances. They'll venture into darker territory, they'll slow things down on "Only Ones Who Know," they'll play art punk riffs without pretension.
The following correction was printed in the Guardian's Corrections and clarifications column, Tuesday April 24 2007 The Arctic Monkeys did not have the biggest-selling debut album in British history; they had the fastest-selling debut album - 360,000 sold in the first week. Even by the standards of the Arctic Monkeys - a band preoccupied with puncturing expectations, as only people saddled with unrealistic expectations can be - the single that heralds the follow-up to the biggest-selling debut album in British history is a deflating experience. Brianstorm sounds like an entry in what seems to be a competition among major artists to see just how devoid of a tune a single can be and still make the upper reaches of the chart, raising the stakes substantially over last year's winner, SexyBack by Justin Timberlake.
It would be a natural impulse to dislike the Arctic Monkeys on principle. Their debut, last year’s Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, sold 360,000 copies its first week in England, based on one single, some Internet demos, and a deafening buzz. It became their country’s fastest-selling debut CD, making them ”one of the most important British bands of all time,” to quote one U.K.
Review Summary: The band lock together with a fluidity and instinctiveness not found on their debut, allowing them to experiment sonically without losing focus. In mere hours, the British singles chart placements will be released, revealing the all-important entry position of ‘Brianstorm,’ the first single from Arctic Monkey’s Favourite Worst Nightmare. Midweek charts suggest the Sheffield foursome will be denied a fourth number one by that most demographically privileged of duets, Beyoncé and Shakira’s ‘Beautiful Liar.
Fifteen months after releasing their Mercury Prize-winning debut, Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not, a clunky, compelling, coming-of-age chapter that slums through clubs, pubs, and Sheffield, UK, burbs, the Arctic Monkeys return with Favourite Worst Nightmare, an album even sharper and more cunning than its predecessor. Opener "Brainstorm" continues the momentum of "A Certain Romance," riding the Monkey's wave of success with pummeling surf-rock rhythms and frantic time changes. "Do Me a Favor" kills at half the speed, while "Only Ones Who Know" is a slow, reverb-drenched lament on the impossibility of modern romance.