This week I’ll be taking a look at Artic Monkeys' debut album – Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not. In case you know absolutely nothing about the band, here is a little synopsis: The band’s first single topped the U.K. singles charts and their U.K. debut album outsold the rest of their fellow bands including the U.K. Top 20 combined; as in, take ranks 2 – 20 and add their sales together…Arctic Monkeys win hands down. That’s an impressive stat to boast no matter who you are but in the end it is exactly just that: a statistic.
I will be frank with everyone who reads this vignette; I imagined, before having listened to the album, that I would begin this review with blurbs like,
“Does anyone want to buy a 1999 Ford Mustang? I am selling mine to move to Sheffield and erect an Arctic Monkeys temple, a la the Who’s Tommy, to help spread the word of the Arctic Ones.”
I have to say it is a shame I don’t feel that way, because that is top-notch, quality journalism; as you can see, a good journalist will find a way to include whatever he wants to include. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am by no means saying that the Arctic Monkeys album is a bad one. Are they the next Oasis, as some people are saying? No, they are not. Are they the next Strokes? Maybe, and that is a questionable maybe.
The album suffers from what I will now refer to as “Hit Single Syndrome” or H.S.S for shorts. H.S.S is the phenomenon that occurs when a song does really well, so well that the entire rest of the album must follow that exact format in hopes of maintaining appeal with those who liked the single--and it worked. The album sounds a lot like the single, which is a good song to its merit, and those who liked it, went out and bought the crap out of their album. Everyone made a lot of money, except probably the Arctic Monkeys, and everyone is happy, right? Not always the case. The songs are hardly distinguishable from each other if you tune out the lyrics they are singing.