The Last Word: Arctic Monkeys’ “Nightmare” Is Upon Us

amonkeycover.jpgEvery week, we round up the all-important, all-summarizing last sentences of the biggest new-music reviews. Today’s entry is Arctic Monkeys’ just-released Favourite Worst Nightmare:

- “The new songs are more melodic and even more meticulous than before. Arctic Monkeys have almost ruled out standard punk strumming. Instead they have zeroed in on the counterpoint of the two guitars, neatly separated on left and right channels and clawing fiercely at each other. The songs take pride in that bitter clarity.” [NY Times]
- “Whether it’s the melancholy guitar haze of “Only Ones You Know” or the skittering rhythms of “This House Is a Circus,” Nightmare is the sound of a band building on its musical strengths in intelligent, original ways. Let’s hope the musical maturity spills over into the lyrics next time around.” [Salon]
- “But most of Nightmare sounds confident, unlabored and just plain good — English cool without English bullshit. The Arctic Monkeys are the new Arctic Monkeys.” [Rolling Stone]

  • JudgeFudge

    I wish this band wrote better songs, had a more distinctive sound, and had a more interesting aesthetic. Then, we might have an actual british rock phenomenon.

  • Audif Jackson Winters III

    “The fact that it’s less catchy than the first album must be an indicator of artistic maturity. Also, the kids seem to like it, so there must be something to it.”

  • spinachdip

    I write this with my flame retardant suit on, but the new album isn’t terrible at all. I’m not sick of it after a couple of spins, which is more than can be said for their first album.

  • revmatty

    I concur, spinachdip. I enjoyed several tracks on the first album, but the whole got a little dull after the first half. Same with Snow Patrol. Both of their current albums are overall more listenable.

  • nonce

    But I haven’t even had time to bother listening to the first album yet. Rapid-cycling hype machine British rock, slow down! I’m still working through Elastica and Gay Dad.

  • Chris Molanphy

    It’s the classic Respectable Sophomore Album, a la Give ‘em Enough Rope or October. It will continue to be respected but fade from memory if the next record is their London Calling.

  • Xenu

    Agreeing on this one: Favourite Worst Nightmare is good. It’s too early to determine how I feel about it compared to the first one, which I also liked, but Arctic Monkeys clearly didn’t take an embarrasing tumble like (ducking the inevitable bullets) Franz Ferdinand, who turned in a sophomore album far, far below the level of their high-profile debut.

  • Chris Molanphy

    @Xenu: I agree entirely, on both Monkeys and especially Franz F. – there were a couple of okay singles on there (and “Do You Want To” wasn’t one of them), but wow, what a dropoff from album 1 to 2.