Any band that that receives the amount of hype Arctic Monkeys received from the British musical press has some big shoes to fill. And while their terrific debut, Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, managed to live up to most of that hype, one wonders how the band could continue without any sort of backlash. Surely they will be some who stick their nose up at the follow up, Favourite Worst Nightmare, but such a reaction is unwarranted.
Arriving a little over a year after their debut, the second Arctic Monkeys record is not dissimilar to sophomore records by The Police, The Ramones or Franz Ferdinand. Favourite Worst Nightmare is basically a sequel to their debut, but you can hear the band experimenting slightly with their formula.
Delivering another dozen tracks filled with elastic guitars and speedy vocals, the band spice things up a little, adding a 60’s feel to tracks like “Fluorescent Adolescent” and surf-rock guitars here and there. Some of the songs here are not as immediate as their debut’s “I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor” or “Fake Tales of San Francisco”, but they’re just as interesting. There are a handful of great tracks here though, “Brainstorm”, “Teddy Picker” and “D is for Dangerous” are as good as anything on their first record, while the deliriously enjoyable “Fluorescent Adolescent” is quite possibly the best song they’ve written.
The album benefits too from the short time between records. Not enough time has passed so the public has ridiculous expectations. Hopefully the band can keep up their output in decent time, so we’re not waiting with high hopes and baited breath for multiple years like some other bands (looking in your direction U2 and Oasis). A strong record from a talented young band, Favourite Worst Nightmare is another solid stepping stone for the Arctic Monkeys.