Arctic Monkeys
Favourite Worst Nightmare


3.5
great

Review

by Davey Boy STAFF
November 4th, 2008 | 318 replies | 7,625 views


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Arctic Monkeys mature (too much) to release a very good 2nd full-length that is not up to the quality of their debut due to it being a little hit and miss, less involving and not as memorable.

It takes more than two hands to count the number of older bands looking to wind back the clock and revisit their youth. But what of the opposite; The number of younger bands looking to mature and basically become older as quickly as possible. I would think that the Arctic Monkeys are indeed one such group judging by their 2nd full-length release ‘Favourite Worst Nightmare’. Of course, another characteristic of youth is impatience and that has to be part of the reason which sees the breakout English band release this album just 15 months after their hit debut ‘Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not'.

In truth, it was always going to be difficult to match their excellent debut, yet judging by the first 2 tracks here, the Arctic Monkeys definitely hint at pulling off such a remarkable feat. Opener and 1st single ‘Brianstorm’ is a real body-mover right from the beginning as its urgency suggests not only a more fast-paced in-your-face approach, but a generally more dancey feel. Yet, follow up and 3rd single ‘Teddy Picker’ suggests that the band may have achieved this change of approach subtly enough to not suggest they are completely forsaking the musical elements and impressive songwriting from their debut.

New bassist Nick O’Malley suggests that Andy Nicholson won’t be too missed, while all other pieces of the puzzle remain in place. Musically, this is clearly a more textured album, but there are occasions when it becomes a little too over-produced. The mix of the old and the new that the band are aiming for is occasionally far from perfect and a little unconvincing in cuts such as ‘Balaclava’ and ‘The Bad Thing’. Having said that, ‘Brianstorm’ and penultimate track ‘Old Yellow Bricks’ are bouncy toe-tappers that are actually enhanced by the additional production.

From a songwriting perspective, it is once more impressive throughout this album, but it is more haphazard in quality than their debut. That maturing I was speaking of earlier has seen vocalist and chief songwriter Alex Turner clearly vary the themes of the songs a lot more. While this will be welcome by some who thought their debut was a little too repetitive, it ends up leaving some tracks less involving and therefore not as memorable as previously. Furthermore, songs which involve themes about the band coming to grips with their newfound fame just don’t sit right coming from what is still such a young group.

As can be deduced from the above, this album is basically hit and miss with the advancements that the Arctic Monkeys attempt to make. For every charming track such as 2nd single ‘Fluorescent Adolescent’ and the guitar-heavy almost U2 like ‘Do Me A Favour’, there are decent album tracks that have unfulfilled potential and do not demand replaying such as ‘D is for Dangerous’, ‘This House is a Circus’ and ‘If You Were There, Beware’.

Continuing the theme of maturity equaling hit and miss, the band take 2 stabs at slower more unconventional tracks. The miss comes in the form of the mid-album ‘Only Ones Who Know’ which without drums just ends up bland and dreary. However, the almost jazzy closer ‘505’ works a lot better. Seemingly borrowing an organ loop from ‘The Good, The Bad & The Ugly’, this deliberately paced atmospheric piece proves more than just effective variation and closes the album on a good note.

In addition to the flaws I have already mentioned, what may be the most frustrating aspect of this album is what the band chose not to include on it. While ‘Do Me A Favour’ was reported to have been thankfully held back for this release instead of being included on the ‘Who the F**k Are Arctic Monkeys?’ EP, the title track should have been and was not. Furthermore, the band also impatiently released the single ‘Leave Before The Lights Come On’ instead of holding it back for this album. Both of those tracks would have added depth and a greater strike rate to ‘Favourite Worst Nightmare’, tw characteristics which would have seen it rate higher.

So while the hit and miss nature of ‘Favourite Worst Nightmare’ sees it fall short of its predecessor, it is still a very good album which is probably treated a little too harshly in comparison. The Arctic Monkeys show maturity much beyond their years here, however that is a two-edged sword in this case as they have probably got a little too ahead of themselves. Hopefully they can take the lessons they have learnt here and wow us come album #3.

Recommended Tracks: Brianstorm, Teddy Picker, Fluorescent Adolescent & Old Yellow Bricks.



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user ratings (1440)
Chart.
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
AtavanHalen
November 4th 2008



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Josh Homme is producing the new album, can't wait.
Also must say how much I fkn love this album's sound. It SOUNDS much better than Whatevs, but the album doesn't flow as well.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
November 4th 2008



20855 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah DavID, it is going to be interesting to see what Homme can add. The Monkeys already have a great rhythm section, so I'm guessing he may help improve their stadium sound.
Fair call on the sound of this album, but I only think it assists certain tracks myself. And yes, this definitely doesn't flow as well as their debut. 4 is a fair rating as I have this as a strong 3.5.

AtavanHalen
November 4th 2008



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm a fanboy, really.
Well, I was for awhile, my interest has waned after awhile.
Are you gonna do The Last Shadow Puppets as well?

rasputin
November 4th 2008



14517 Comments


sup ausfags

will i like this band

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
November 4th 2008



20855 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

DavID, I can see you becoming a fanboy again as soon as their next album is released. As for The Last Shadow Puppets, I am not planning on reviewing that album any time shortly, but will probably get around to it some time in 2009. Is their album better than this in your opinion...???
RASPUTIN, umm, it's difficult to tell if you will like the Arctic Monkeys. I think you could find their rhythm section interesting. BUT if you are going to give them a go, I would recommend their debut album over this.

AtavanHalen
November 4th 2008



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's a pretty epic album, but I haven't properly rated it yet.
Keen to see what you think of my latest review, as well.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
November 4th 2008



20855 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I was one step ahead of you DavID. As you were typing here, I was typing there.

Bleak123
November 4th 2008



1902 Comments


Great review again Davey ^_^
and once again you practically nail my feelings on the album. Pos.


DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
November 4th 2008



20855 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Appreciate it Kane. Great to see that even the Arctic Monkeys (for want of a better word) fanboys roughly share my view.
Do you (or anyone else for that matter) possibly see them going even a little more dance-rock'ish for their 3rd...???

sgrevs
November 4th 2008



698 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Josh Homme is producing the new album, can't wait.


Whoa. Awesome. Did not know that but really looking forward to it now.

Nice review, I really dig this album though it's grown off me a tad recently. Balaclava is actually one of my favourite on here.

AtavanHalen
November 4th 2008



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Do you (or anyone else for that matter) possibly see them going even a little more dance-rock'ish for their 3rd?

Not with Homme on board.
I can see it getting much darker, and much more experimental (like LSP)

Bleak123
November 4th 2008



1902 Comments


Do you (or anyone else for that matter) possibly see them going even a little more dance-rock'ish for their 3rd...???

Nah, with Homme they'll more likely be a bit more alternative rock, but idk.

Also, thanks for your comment on my Two Gallants review Davey, one of the few to give it love ;).


DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
November 4th 2008



20855 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

SGREVS, I have spoken to a few people regarding their fave songs on this album and a number of the lesser tracks such as 'Balaclava', 'D is for Dangerous', 'This House Is A Circus' and 'If You Were There, Beware' pop up occasionally, but not all that often. I think all of those have something to like about them, but I just get the feeling that their potential was unfulfiled and if this album was not as rushed out as it was, then all these songs, as well as the album, would have been even better than it already is.
Good point regarding Homme producing the next album guys. Although, Homme the performer isn't necessarily the same as Homme the producer. You mentioned the word 'experimental' DavID and I can't help but think that when bands mention that, then here comes a more electronica/dancier feel.
No probs at all Kane. And I wouldn't say your review didn't get much love. 5 positive votes is nothing to ignore for a debut review. Don't worry, more people will read your stuff as the total number of your reviews grow.

rasputin
November 4th 2008



14517 Comments


RASPUTIN, umm, it's difficult to tell if you will like the Arctic Monkeys. I think you could find their rhythm section interesting. BUT if you are going to give them a go, I would recommend their debut album over this.

cool I'll keep that in mind

Bleak123
November 4th 2008



1902 Comments


I'd say definitley check out Whatever People Say I Am That's What I'm Not Rasputin.
I think my favourite songs from this album would be:
Brianstorm
Teddy Picker
D is for Dangerous.




DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
November 4th 2008



20855 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Oh & just in case, stay away if you are not a fan of thick British accents as it is fair to state that Alex Turner sings with one. Although, he really uses it to his advantage more than other similar singers... Especially on their debut, but also on this album.
And yep, there is our vote for 'D Is For Dangerous' just like I predicted earlier. LOL.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
November 4th 2008



20855 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah Dave, I get the feeling that this album could actually age well... At least in the terms that it is difficult not to initially compare it (unfavourably) to their debut. But at the end of the day, there is no doubt that the songs are not as strong here.
PS: Are you still going to review the new Snow Patrol album...???

ClearTheLane
November 4th 2008



990 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good review, and correct rating
Not that much to say about this, exept that I agree with most that you said, especially

Furthermore, the band also impatiently released the single ‘Leave Before The Lights Come On’ instead of holding it back for this album.
That's one of the best tracks they've made. It also has the best music video they'll ever make.
I dunno, I guess this just missed the charm that Whatever People Say.. had. I really disliked Brianstorm when it came out, and I still do I guess. Haha I still remember when I first saw its music video (first taste of the album actually) when it came out, I just HATED it. It was like all those dance/pop/hip hop commercial videos that you see on "music"television, ugh.
The best tracks in this in my opinion are 505, Fluorescent and Balaclava. At least I've enjoyed them the most, that's how you should classify the best right? =PThis Message Edited On 11.04.08

Fugue
November 4th 2008



7352 Comments


good review here, I always thought D is for dangerous was one of the better songs on the album, but it definitely isn't as good as their first.

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
November 4th 2008



7314 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is a good follow up, but it just doesn't have the energy of WPSIATWIN. I know Homme the producer is different to Homme the perfomer, but it would be awsome is their next album sounded like QOTSA.



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