TBT - Arctic Monkeys' Favourite Worst Nightmare

by Kevin Wierzbicki

Do you suppose global warming has gotten to Arctic Monkeys? Or are the chilly simians just dreaming about warmer climes? There must be some reason that they start off Favourite Worst Nightmare with a blast of surf music. You could easily hang ten on the huge guitar wave that starts off "Brianstorm" (yes, it's Brian-storm not brainstorm) but when Alex Turner starts singing in his thick Sheffield accent the tune takes on the distinct spy/fuzz flavor that Arctic Monkeys are known for. Turner's voice and the hovering wasp sound of the guitar are the stars of this very solid album, but probably the question on everyone's mind here is, "Is there a big hit like "I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor" on this album? Well, probably not in the U.S. There are lots of songs that may be hits or close calls in England, notably the wordy and fast moving "Fluorescent Adolescent," an '80s (or '60s!) style dance number that remembers better days, specifically times when the sex was hotter, "You used to get it in your fishnets/Now you only get it in your nightdress…" And I don't think Arctic Monkeys purposely revisited "I Bet You Look Good…" but there are a couple of songs here that directly bring that song to mind. But the listener would be best served to let that song stand and move on with an open mind as there's lots of good listening to be had. "Do Me a Favor" uses a "Land of 1000 Dances" beat and a little more surf action while "This House is a Circus" taps into a quasi-reggae groove (think the Police). "The Bad Thing" is a rousing encouragement to commit adultery, urging that she "take off her wedding ring" but the album closes on a more somber note with "505," a gotta-get-home to the girl song. Arctic Monkeys have not only avoided the dreaded sophomore slump; they've taken a leap toward senior.

TBT - Arctic Monkeys' Favourite Worst Nightmare

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