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Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not
     

Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not

4.7 18
by Arctic Monkeys
 

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Sheffield, England, foursome Arctic Monkeys started 2005 as relative unknowns but -- thanks to some catchy songs, an impressive live show, and a rabid, Internet-savvy fan base -- became a music industry phenomenon by year's end. Their first two singles debuted at No. 1 on the British charts, as did this album, which is officially the fastest-selling debut in British

Overview

Sheffield, England, foursome Arctic Monkeys started 2005 as relative unknowns but -- thanks to some catchy songs, an impressive live show, and a rabid, Internet-savvy fan base -- became a music industry phenomenon by year's end. Their first two singles debuted at No. 1 on the British charts, as did this album, which is officially the fastest-selling debut in British recording history. It's a bit hard to hear the music for the hyperbole at this point, though if you can cut through the ballyhoo it's easy to see what at least some of the fuss is about. Musically, Arctic Monkeys' shambolic, melodic rock isn't so different from any number of other contemporary bands who spent the last five years listening to the Strokes and the Libertines (and maybe the Jam). But frontman Alex Turner is a keen observer whose lyrical barbs are tossed off with attitude and a thick northern accent, and his songs paint a more vivid portrait of what it's like to be young, male, and British in 2006 than a year's subscription to FHM, Loaded, and the NME ever could. Vignettes include a look at the intricacies and frustrations of the mating game ("I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor," "Dancing Shoes") and dealings with both meathead bouncers at clubs ("From the Ritz to the Rubble") and small-town cops ("Riot Van"). Turner saves most of his ire for the music industry. "Fake Tales of San Francisco" and "Maybe Vampires Is a Bit Strong" eviscerate the build-them-up-to-knock-them-down nature of the music press, as well as the readers who hang on every headline. One imagines Turner would likely be the first to say, "Don't believe the hype" -- check the album title -- even if the Arctic Monkeys' music says otherwise.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I Am Not, the debut album from the Arctic Monkeys, captures the band mashing up the Strokes and the Libertines at will, jamming too many angular riffs into too short of a space, tearing through the songs as quickly as possible. But where the Strokes camouflaged their songwriting skills with a laconic, take-it-or-leave-it sexiness, and the Libertines mythologized England with a junkie poeticism, the Artic Monkeys have made an album for the Information Overload Age: nearly every track here is overloaded with riffs and words, and just when it's about to sort itself out, it stops short. This doesn't make them or their debut bad, just surprisingly predictable: they're competent, lacking enough imagination or restlessness to do anything other than the expected.
New York Times - Kelefa Sanneh
If only the music weren't so thrilling, there would probably be a serious backlash afoot.
Rolling Stone - Barry Walters
The good news: In the case of this unpretentiously artful punk band, the reality nearly meets the hype.... A start-to-finish rush of invigorating riffs and pointed narratives that heightens with repeated exposure.
New York Post - Dan Aquilante
The band's confidence belies their rookie status. Combine that poise with top chops and you have a quartet even better than the hype.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/21/2006
Label:
Domino
UPC:
0801390008627
catalogNumber:
86
Rank:
11298

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Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Master_Shifu More than 1 year ago
You will not be disappointed.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I may not be british, but I most definately have an appreciation for the arctic monkeys. And their accents. I listen to this CD on repeat regularly... Veiw from the afternoon is probably my favorite track off of this one... Possibly my favorite song of all time, actually :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
perfect album to start out with for arctic monkeys, really proud of how far they have come
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed listening to this CD, I have bought all of the music that the Arctic Monkeys have put out and I listen to them all the time! They have a Pop/Rock/Rap sound although they are heaviest on the pop. You should totally buy this CD
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought Arctic Monkeys' debut album when it first came out; I was 13. I used to listen to it nonstop. It was the soundtrack of my summer. Four years and many changes later--including my devotion to metal--and I still bust out Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not. Arctic Monkeys are a talented young band with a long career ahead of them.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Good god, this band are absolutely amazing, all the stage presence of The Who, way back when, with a musical style that pays homage to everything from The Jam to Blur and yet emerges with a sound completely new and original, its like being present at the birth of the Beatles.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I used to live in England and Arctic Monkeys were just getting popular when I left... I'm so glad they're coming to America! Mardy Bum is really one of my favorite! Of course, if you're don't know British slang, you'll have no idea what they're on about!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just listened to the entire CD through, and man let me tell you, the Arctic Monkeys ARE the next big thing. Personal faves are "When the Sun Goes Down" and "I Bet You Look Good On the Dancefloor".
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was over in London while the Monkeys were starting to generate a lot of hype and "I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor" was released as a single. They are impressive and are well-deserving of the fame they have gotten. Favorite track: Riot Van.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this band will make it down in history with the beatles if they continue the rate there on as long as they dont do what the killers did and never make another album there going places
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