Arctic Monkeys are the classic story of a band that started with some kids who enjoyed playing music and made it to the big time. The band started playing in 2001 as just a group of teenagers in a garage. They started to self record and hand out CDs of their music for free and by 2004 they landed a big record deal. Arctic Monkeys refused to pander to their label’s requests about their music, but instead just played songs the way they wanted to. This didn’t slow down their popularity, but instead created a niche for them as a totally new style of music. Arctic Monkeys have released three albums to date: Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not (2006), Favourite Worst Nightmare (2007), and Humbug (2009).
1. The View from the Afternoon– This song features excellent drumming along with strong punkish guitar. As the first track from Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, it is a strong opening to demonstrate what the Arctic Monkeys are all about. The quick speed and haunting guitar go well with the steady singing of Alex Turner as he tells stories of the madness of nightlife. A music video was also made of it that features a drummer outdoors furiously drumming until his hands bleed. Very dramatic and moving.
2. I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor-This song was first released as a single before their first album. It features the speed and drumming that make the band famous along with a slightly more popish style. The lyrics are from Alex Turner to a girl as if he is trying to pick her up and take her to a dance club. From Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not.
3. Fake Tales of San Francisco-This song is bass driven, showing off how Arctic Monkeys really has strong musicians in every corner. As the bass repeats his strong riff, the guitars back it up and add occasional high bits to spice it up. Alex Turner sings scathingly of people he’s heard in San Francisco trying to brag about who they are instead of being themselves. This pushes the image of the band as a free thinking group. Also from Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not.
4. A Certain Romance– From Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, this song begins with a long drum intro. It is a song strongly driven by Alex Turner’s voice as he rants about how some people he knows have become thugs who don’t care about music or romance. His voice becomes soft in some parts of the song, showing his ability to really push emotion. This song combines some elements of the romantic song and the rock.
5. Brainstorm– The opening song to Favourite Worst Nightmare, this song takes the speed of the band up another notch with amazing drumming and strumming with some delay effects. Alec Turner sings as the tempo is changed back and forth from quick to slow about someone he knew named Brian who excels at everything without trying. Alex imagines how Brian’s life must be; so perfect and easy.
6. D is for Dangerous- This song brings the focus back to creative drumming that reminds one of View from the Afternoon. It is a rocking song that uses strong bass and drums to really create atmosphere. The singers build up the energy by repeating the same lines. It’s about a girl and how a guy is divided between the danger of the girl and the things about her that he likes. From Favourite Worst Nightmare.
7. Fluorescent Adolescent– Powered by Alex Turner’s voice singing softly and high guitar, this pretty quick song is about a woman who has settled for a life without much excitement or love. The video released for it features the completely unrelated clowns fighting furiously in a warehouse and car chase. The video is amusing, especially with the song. It’s a very pretty with brilliant drums as always. From Favourite Worst Nightmare.
8. Crying Lightning- Bass powered song with a different feel from previous songs. From the album Humbug. This song has a certain haunting quality, with guitar riffs wavering in the background during the verse, double singing, and short repeating basslines. It’s a song about a girl who is being confronted by a guy who is upset with her.
9. Corner Stone- Also from Humbug, this song is another soft love ballad from Alex Turner with smooth steady vocals that really pull the song ahead. It’s about a guy who has broken up with a girl and starts to date other girls that remind him of her, but always ruins it by asking the new girls if he can call them the name of his old girlfriend. It’s an interesting topic and Alex captures the feel of each verse perfectly.
10. Dance Little Liar– Moving back to the haunting quality that is found in most of the Humbug songs, this song has a wavering, madness type of melody that makes the viewer want to shake their head drunkenly side to side. The tone of the voice is anger at a girlfriend that Alex has broken up with. The words have an almost Gothic level of darkness and the way Alex Turner sings it makes you feel like humming it when feeling down.