Arctic Monkeys
Suck It and See



by TheSpeedNirvana USER (7 Reviews)
August 8th, 2011 | 7 replies

Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Something I never thought I'd say about a rock album: It sounds pretty.

I have a confession to make. I have never listened to the Arctic Monkeys before. I'll do you one better. This album was my first time listening to this band, period. Okay, so not entirely true. I'm not too proud to admit I first heard these lads from Sheffield during a particularly slow night of Guitar Hero. The song was a murderous number called "Brianstorm" and in music critic terms, it kicked my ass. Both literally and figuratively; my confidence on plastic guitar never recovered.

But that was it for me. Sure, I heard something about them being raved in Rolling Stone as the next-next-NEXT saviors of rock, but I was just getting over my heartbreak that was The Strokes. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice; end up buying a lackluster, overhyped album. But eventually I couldn't just ignore them anymore. The "so un-funny, it's ironic" album art and "I can't prove it's dirty but.." album title, lulled me in. Luckily, I was dating a girl at the time who owns everything Alex Turner ever sneezed on, and managed to borrow her copy. I could satisfy my curiosity and not have my heart broken. By music. The all too real heartbreak from her would come along much later.

So what can you expect from the Arctic Monkey's latest album" I could just say "Not Brianstorm" and save about half of you the trouble. Now as for the rest, your first impression will be that they finally caved in, and wrote a pop album. No, No, not THAT kind of pop. Think more 60's love songs, and less club remix. There's a distant, dreamy, lovelorn swing to most of the songs on this album. Almost pleasant some would say. Downright boring, would say others. The instrumentation is tight as ever. Nick O'Malley and Matt Helder, (bassist and drummer respectively) hold their own and provide a strong rhythm section. And a special acknowledgment must be thrown out to Jamie Cook, whose guitar work is tragically underrated. While Alex drones on, Cook keeps your interest with some unique, fuzzy tones and the occasionally catchy riff thrown in.

The opener "She's Thunderstorms" is a nice introduction into exactly the kind of album you’re getting into. It's a pleasant song about a girl (one of many), that wouldn't be out of place as a love song in another decade. "Black Treacle" takes some getting use too, and is plagued by a weak chorus that goes nowhere. But Cook keeps things interesting with a beautiful chord progression. So far, good song, then slightly better song. Then comes "Brick by Brick". And it's awful. Suddenly, ever thing bad about the Arctic Monkeys becomes apparent in one moment. Dumb lyrics and half-assed instrumentation only become worse, when you commit the cardinal sin, and let the drummer sing.

Things are quickly fixed and Matt is sent back to his kit sulking, in time for the next song "The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala" (yet another song about a girl). It's somewhat less enthusiastic sounding then the early songs, and ultimately nice, but forgettable. Then comes another moment, when the band switches gears and decides to punch you in the face. This time for the better. "Don't Sit Down Cause I've Moved Your Chair", is a crunchy, riff heavy, rocker, with a sea-sick bass line. I suddenly realized I was head banging, genuinely enjoying myself, for the first time listening to this album. My sudden re-discovery of joy carried onto the next track "Library Pictures". It was as if the band had woken up to the "rock" part of rock band.

Sadly, this moment doesn’t last, and it's back to dullsville with "All My Own Stunts" which doesn't even have the excuse of being a good song. Plus, a metaphorically (and perhaps literally) a wasted Josh Homme that's barely audible in the mix. The rest of the album is nowhere near bad as "Brick By Brick" but after being shown the first truly fun moments of the whole album, it all just seems boring. One dreamy pop tune drifts into another. All very nice sounding. Just not very fun. And that's my biggest problem with this album.

Suck it And See, is not a bad album, and if you’re a fan of Arctic Monkeys, you'll probably love it. But if you just heard of the band because they were in some magazine about being the "it" rock band of the decade, you might want to save your money. Hate to sound old, but rock n' roll just doesn't mean what it used to.

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user ratings (963)
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • JViney EMERITUS (4)
    Arctic Monkeys are still a gang of close friends still very much in touch with their roots...

    AliW1993 (4)
    A bold step forward which more than justifies previous meanderings....

    BigPleb (3.5)
    If you mixed all of Arctic Monkeys previous work together, the chances are you'd end up wi...

    StanleyKubrick (4)

  • IsrealWard (2.5)
    What appears to be such a strong album after upon the first listen it quickly ends up havi...

    ArtBox (4.5)
    "Suck it and see, you never know..."...

    SigismundFreudian (3.5)
    (Pop-rock + Psychedelia + Hard Rock) Romantic lyrics + nonsense = Suck It And See....

Comments:Add a Comment 
August 8th 2011


I'll give you a pos! A pretty good review for a first.

Some pointers I would say are to try to get to the point more quickly; you don't want to lose the reader with what they feel may be unrelated to the topic at hand. And also, try to avoid doing a walk-through of the album- if you could find a way to discuss the album as a whole more often, with more infrequent specific examples of songs as evidence, then I feel that your review would be stronger.

Keep writing and practicing!

August 8th 2011


Album rips

Digging: Beastmilk - Climax

August 8th 2011


Album Rating: 3.5

Album is soooo good, but it's probably their worst. The 2nd half is just too slow for me. Still one of my favourite band's though.

August 9th 2011


Album Rating: 3.0

@KingAlistar Thanks for the advice dude! I'm a little new at this, but I'm always ready to learn. I really want to get a job in music jorunalism someday, so I'm trying to get as much experince as I can. Any advice you can give is muai apperciated

I felt bad about just summing up the whole album, because of those 2 great tracks, that stand out on their own. But I see what you mean, I could have cut this a lot shorter by mentioning them as an aside.

August 9th 2011


Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I love this album. It took a little while to grow on me, but once it did it really did.

August 9th 2011


Album Rating: 4.0

Album is good. The second half has some of the best stuff they've ever done. That's Where You're Wrong is amazing.

August 9th 2011


I don't write much either, but I've been planning on changing that! I would really like to. And keep it up, you have potential to be a great writer man. x)

I liked these guys' second album decently, but just did not like Humbug minus Secret Door. I wonder if this album should be checked out.

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