This was one of the first albums I loved and played over and over. I was the perfect age for it,16, and at the beginning of so many of the stories the Arctic Monkeys tell in this album. So, I related to that but also to the music. The Kooks sang about much the same but it was indie pop which was a little too soft, though I had their debut too. ‘Whatever People Say I Am…’ was perfect because it had me looking forward to all the banter that was about to come my way.
Before I started this review I said I’d read some reviews of the album from way back when it originally came out. Pitchfork gave it 7.4/10. Fuck them. NME gave it 10/10. Sound. The Pitchfork one actually sounded like the reviewer was going out of their way to make a name for themselves by shooting them down, but I think The Arctic Monkeys won that one in the long run. A lot of the indie bands that came out around the early/mid-noughties have faded away but the Monkeys are now up there with those whose music we greatly anticipate. The funny thing about this album is that many people credit the internet and Myspace with launching it and the band, and its true, they had already made a name for themselves and built a solid following through the internet.
That shouldn’t take away from the album however or its legacy. ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor’ came out one day and took over our radio’s and TV’s. It was a great single, perfect for pre-drinks and literally, the dancefloor. Songs such as ‘From The Ritz To The Rubble’ about dealing with bouncers was something all we 16/17 year old’s all knew about. Standing around outside the nightclub at 2. A.M, frozen. Then there was ‘Dancing Shoes’ and ‘Still Take You Home’ about trying to pull and fake tan, taking you right back to Saturday night when you were getting chips and you suddenly sobered up to the sight of your arm around some bearded man. ‘Fake Tales Of San Francisco’ was always catchy for me,the lyrics “Yeah but his bird thinks it’s amazing, though’ So all that’s left, Is the proof that love’s not only blind but deaf” to describe a shit band always gave me a chuckle.
‘When The Sun Goes Down’ was also very well received and went to No. 1. A song about a prostitute and how the town changes when night falls, the song did well on the back of ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor’ and also because it was very good. The album finisher ‘A Certain Romance’ is probably my favourite track. Excellent guitar riff and a big finish, the lyrics are also well put together, telling the story of a rougher crowd and the lack of romance in their lives. Anyone else my age will know this album well, and listening to it today I can remember when I first got it and the buzz of going out on the beer. This one will be remembered for a while to come and deservedly so. Don’t believe the hype!