Saturday, April 07, 2007

BREAKING: I Might Have To Stop Hating On Arctic Monkeys

I haven't had a big musical mea culpa lately. Modest Mouse is the only major one in quite a while, as far as I can recall. So this would be a big one, given that when I've posted the words "Arctic Monkeys" on this blog, the words that follow are usually "poser," "fakes," "d-bags," or some confluence of the three.

I took another listen to the still-horrendously-douchebaggily-titled Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not tonight. And I have to admit, I enjoyed it quite a bit. I came to three realizations:

  1. They are a seriously, seriously powerful band. Maybe not that catchy, but they pack quite a punch.
  2. I'm not convinced by the sincerity of the fellow delivering those ascerbic, sarcastic, misanthropic lyrics... but I'm not sure I care anymore. It's the thought that counts, right? Besides, I was thinking about the kinds of songs I'd write if I were a singer/songwriter, and concluded that "all you people are vampires" and "what a scummy man" are not too far off from the sentiments that I myself would want to express. So I'll give them a break on that count.
  3. Pretty sure I hated them strictly because of the album title. (It's still on the all-time worst list.) And the hype, that too. But now, more than a year separated from the feeding frenzy, I can reflect upon the music and judge it rationally.

I feel that's fairly accurate. And for the album title thing, I think that's entirely valid. If you're gonna name it something so dreadfully obnoxious, and THEN give us this assclown as your cover boy...

...what else do you expect? Anyway, I'm sure the band regrets this grievous mistake. (Since I'm a forgiving guy, apology accepted in advance.)

The truth is that Whatever People Say I Am is, in fact, a pretty tight album. Not the instant classic it was made out to be, but still good. (I'm reminded of the time the Bluth Company was upgraded on Jim Cramer's Mad Money to a solid "Don't Buy," touching off extravagant celebrations.) Time will tell if I fall in love with the album after all this. But for now, I'll buy that the band is indeed a big deal, and that Whatever is worth a listen.

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