Favourite Worst Nightmare
Arctic Monkeys first gained broad attention as a MySpace phenomenon, but with their debut album Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, the High Green, Sheffield, band’s leaping rock and frontman Alex Turner’s biting observations of city life helped them become one of England’s biggest acts. On their second full-length, Favourite Worst Nightmare, they widen their sense of dynamics — “Balaclava” has a breakdown that suggests a love of War’s Latin-soul classic “Low Rider” — as Turner paints, this time more sourly, on a larger canvas. He seems to note his critics on “Teddy Picker” (“Who’d want to be a man of the people when there’s people like you?”), while “The Bad Thing” is a vignette of attempted seduction by a lady of means. What’s next? Who knows, but Turner’s general mood suggests that of Damon Albarn before he decided that Blur wasn’t allowing him to say everything he wanted.