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Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not

Arctic Monkeys

2006

Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not
Album Summary

Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not is the debut studio album by English rock band Arctic Monkeys, released on 23 January 2006 by Domino Recording Company and on 21 February 2006 in the United States. The album includes their first two singles "I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor" and "When the Sun Goes Down", as well as re-recorded versions of both tracks from the band's debut EP, Five Minutes with Arctic Monkeys. This is the only Arctic Monkeys album with bassist Andy Nicholson, as he left the band shortly after the album's release. Forming in 2002, Arctic Monkeys frequently gave away free demo CDs to fans at gigs, which resulted in fans uploading the band's music to social media sites. As their attention hugely grew, the band had garnered great demand from fans, the press and the music industry. Several of the album's tracks had been released for free via the Internet in late 2004, which consolidated on the unofficial Beneath the Boardwalk compilation. Musically, Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not features indie rock, garage rock revival, post-punk revival, punk rock, alternative rock, and Britpop. Its thematic content has been likened to a concept, generally concerning nightlife, including lyricism surrounding clubbing and pub culture, and romance from the perspective of young Northerners. Prior to the release of Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not, Arctic Monkeys achieved their first UK number-ones with "I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor", which was the most acclaimed song of 2005, and "When the Sun Goes Down". The album became the fastest selling debut album in British music history, selling over 360,000 copies in its first week, and remains the fastest selling debut album by a band. It has since gone 7× platinum in the UK. In the US, it also became the second-fastest selling independent record label debut album in history and was certified gold by RIAA for selling 500.000 copies there. The album received widespread critical acclaim from critics for its depiction of youth British culture and for resurging British indie music that had waned after the 1990s. Among its accolades included being named the best album of 2006 by Time magazine, winning the Brit Award for Best British Album, winning the 2007 Mercury Prize, and receiving a Grammy Award nomination for Best Alternative Music Album. It has been ranked in several greatest albums lists', including 371 in Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, 19 in NME's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, and 30 in Rolling Stone's 100 Best Debut Albums of All Time.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.78

Votes

11812
Genres
Rock
Indie

Reviews

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Mon Aug 02 2021
5

This album took everything that was good about the British rock bands at the time (stop-start guitars, great hooks, catchy and danceable bass lines, great lyrics) and then turned it up to 11. What I like the most is that you can train your ear to listen to any of the parts of this band - the drumming is solid (far more so than say, Franz Ferdinand), each song is driven by terrific guitars and bass that will stay in your head as long as the lyrics will. THAT is what makes this album so impressive to me - the sum of its parts is stronger than any album I've heard in a long time. Another point to make is that this album honestly has no weak tracks at all. Zero. Every song is, at worst, above average.

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Sat Mar 20 2021
5

The band were fuckin' wank and I'm not having a nice time.

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Fri Nov 18 2022
3

Not bad but a lot of Arctic Monkeys songs just sound like Arctic Monkeys songs.

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Mon Aug 30 2021
3

all around slightly above average but I don't really get why it made the list

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Tue May 03 2022
3

It’s pretty good but I feel like the intense popularity of this album has more to do with when it came out than it’s quality.

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Mon Nov 21 2022
3

pretty stock standard they're young, dumb and full of cum a Brit teen's wet dream

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Mon Dec 07 2020
5

An insanely great debut album. Thought-provoking, raw lyrics with infectious hooks combined with an understated voice that blends into a well mixed band. There is a commonality between the songs in how the band sounds, but each song lives on it's own and has their own character. Every component has a role to bring these songs to life. One of my favorite albums. Don't think there is a bad song on this album. Stand-outs: Mardy Bum, From the Ritz to the Rubble ,Riot Van, Dancing Shoes

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Mon Apr 19 2021
5

Primero lo primero: este es un GRAN disco, independientemente de su historia. Tenía mucho tiempo sin escucharlo, tanto que ahora pienso si realmente lo escuché completo la primera vez o no. Me gustó (re)descubrir las canciones, y transportarme a la época en la que salió el disco. Es increíble que ya hayan pasado 15 años! Desde el punto de vista histórico, para mí este disco marca el inicio de una era en la que un grupo de jóvenes fue capaz de producirse y promoverse a sí mismos, sin necesidad de pasar por los canales tradicionales (las disqueras, en este caso), y se replica actualmente en otras formas: gente que publica sus propios libros, que desarrolla aplicaciones millonarias o produce sus propios programas de televisión, utilizando internet como plataforma.

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Tue Feb 16 2021
5

stone cold classic. Being this from the golden era of intenet bootleg I did not hear the real final mix until many years later, I still like some of those demos better than the final version but it is without a doubt one of the great record of my youth. now, 15 years later my favorite is A certain romance, it just has it all, it is the complete time stamp of those day. damn I love this record.

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Wed Mar 31 2021
5

Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not - Arctic Monkeys 1. The View From the Afternoon - 5/5 2. I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor - 5/5 3. Fake Tales of San Francisco - 5/5 4. Dancing Shoes - 4/5 5. You Probably Couldn’t See For The Lights But You Were Staring Straight At Me - 4/5 6. Still Take You Home - 5/5 7. Riot Van - 5/5 8. Red Light Indicates Doors Are Secured - 5/5 9. Marcy Bum - 5/5 10. Perhaps Vampires Is A Bit Strong But... - 5/5 11. From The Ritz To The Rubble - 4/5 12. A Certain Romance - 5/5 Overall: 4.75 or 95% Fave Songs: The View From The Afternoon, Still Take You Home, Riot Van, Perhaps Vampires Is A Bit Strong But...

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Sat Mar 20 2021
4

this one is jam packed full of nostalgia. listening to this while i've got a bit of back pain is ramming home how old i actually am. though to be fair i definitely don't miss being 21 at all, my kidneys are hurting just thinking about it and its actually quite nice to be a bit pissed off 3 pints. anyway back to the album, memories aside, it has suffered from the same problem that most 2000s indie, take away the killer and the filler is really hard to listen to. there are some absolute timeless bangers on this album but the shit tracks give you a window into the self absorbed shitty nature of that indie movement. perfect for a pisshead student but must have been a cancerous bunch of people to anyone not involved in it. i hate young people. they're awful.

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Mon Jan 18 2021
1

12 shite songs. 1 half decent one. Jimmy Saville sounding motherfucker

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Thu Jan 21 2021
5

One of my all-time faves. This debut album showed the world that Brit-alt was alive and well.

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Thu Apr 08 2021
5

Yeah, an instant classic I knew I was going to be a simp for these Arctic Monkeys.

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Mon Mar 22 2021
5

Just excellent. Laidback meaningful lyrics to fun, fast tempo-ed, smoothly played rock.

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Sat Oct 16 2021
5

Super “throw-on”-able. Short and sweet, catchy and sexy, and full of spunk. This was a big hit for me.

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Wed Mar 10 2021
4

I think if I listened to it more I'd probably like it better

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Thu Jul 21 2022
2

What a mess. This album was all over the place with no real theme or direction. It wanted to be pop, punk, and rock all at the same time. Even though I like Alex Turner's voice and I like some of AM's songs (seen them live), this album left me annoyed and irritated. I couldn't wait for it to be over so I could sonically rinse my ears with something else.

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Thu Nov 02 2023
5

I really fucking love this band. Perfectly captures the British youth spirit at that time.

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Wed Nov 29 2023
5

Sheffield! Four of these tracks are in my set list and two more are in my "to learn" pile. 1. The View from the Afternoon - Great start, tri-tone (METAL!) establishes that this album is not going to be a pleasant ramble through the country (if you didn't get that from the cover). Love the arrangement - bass dropping out, guitars taking stereo turns to play the chords after the fake finish half-way through, drum style changes, band dropping out - all serve to keep the ear interested. Love the major version of a bond-type chord at the end. This track whets my appetite for the rest of the album. 2. I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor - one of my fave tracks - even the salsa band I'm in do this one. Great tempo. Your name isn't Rio (not real), but I don't care for sand. Great poetry - don't need romance, Shakespeare invoked and undercut too. Love it. 3. Fake Tales of San Francisco - You're not from NYC, you're from Rotherham (Rovrum) continues the theme of cutting through the bullshit of romance and getting real and local. This is Ken Loach indie pop. 4. Dancing Shoes - another banger. Love a floor tom rhythm. No chords, just a tune over the second verse, great. "Shit Shock Horror" love it. I really identify with the whole being at the club burning with lust and too afraid to talk to anyone theme, so, yeah - love this one. 5. You Probably Couldn't See for the Lights but You Were Staring Straight at Me - the tune is too high for everyone in the band to sing, which is so appropriate - it will damage vocal chords every time they play it and no-one cares. I'd have used more distortion on this one. 6. Still Take You Home - sounds like Dead Kennedys intro. Lounge middle 8. "Fake tan. Top Shop princess." 7. Riot Van - lovely sweeping up, going home vibe to this one - great contrast to the violence in the lyrics. 8. Red Light Indicates Doors Are Secured. Ide to nicking a taxi fare. Again, great arrangement. 9. Mardy Bum - in Sheffield, this is as classic as Don't You Want Me Baby. Local vernacular "rate 'ard", "got the face on". They've never heard of "squinny" up here. 10. Perhaps Vampires Is a Bit Strong But... Anticapitalist rant. Longest track by half, distortion on the vocal connotes Alex's depth of rage to me. Song actually finishes at 2:10, then theres a metal Mambo/drum jam. Fucking love it. Last bit reminds me of The Great Imperial Yo-Yo. 11. When the Sun Goes Down. My lad Jacob used to sing this acapella as a folk song round the fire. "What a scummy man ... It's all not quite legitimate ... She must be fookin' freezin'" 12. From the Ritz to the Rubble - rhymes totaitarian with "scary 'un". Couldn't have done that on a Sunday - Turner returns to this theme in Do I wanna know "... nights were mainly made for saying things that you can't say tomorrow day." I'm looking forward to what he produces as he continues to get older. 13. A Certain Romance" Classic. 13 songs, 41 minutes - BANG! Love letter to the night-life of youth. Smashed it.

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Wed Mar 10 2021
4

Feels like the Strokes but British. Pretty good!

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Tue Oct 26 2021
4

Very brit-punk-alt-something. I don't mind give me a Cigarette and a fish and chip yo.

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Tue Feb 21 2023
4

Looking back, it's crazy to think about how hyped this band/record was. They were really sold as the future of rock and while I'll admit that this is a pretty solid debut, it's not necessarily the revolution people wanted it to be. Still, it's a fun rock record and I can understand that it gathered nostalgic value for most of its listeners.

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Wed Jan 13 2021
3

Album started out decent but was very same-sy by the end. Will probably listen again and wouldn’t be surprised if it grew on me.

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Wed Apr 14 2021
3

Ok album, no bad songs but no really good ones either. Probably won't give it another listen.

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Sun Jul 11 2021
3

Fun and energetic album. Only a few songs stand out but overall I enjoyed it.

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Tue Aug 03 2021
3

Its thematic content has been likened to a concept, generally concerning nightlife, including lyricism surrounding clubbing and pub culture, and romance from the perspective of young Northerners. The album became the fastest selling debut album in British music history, selling over 360,000 copies in its first week, and remains the fastest selling debut album by a band. It has since gone 6× platinum in the UK. In the US, it also became the second-fastest selling independent record label debut album in history. The album received widespread critical acclaim from critics for its depiction of youth British culture and for resurging British indie music that had waned after the 1990s. Cover artwork of the album is a photo of Chris McClure—a close friend of the band, frontman of The Violet May and brother of Jon McClure of Reverend and The Makers—taken in the early hours of the morning in Korova bar, Liverpool[10] after the band had given him, his cousin and his best friend "seventy quid to spend on a night out"

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Tue Oct 05 2021
3

I actually don't really mind this. It's not incredible or mind-blowing, but it's serviceable for what it is.

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Mon Jan 23 2023
3

Not my usual brand of indie rock, but still a pretty good album. An interesting look into clubbing & pub hopping in North England from Alex Turner's perspective. Not subject matter I can really relate too, but a good listen and a good laugh at times nonetheless.

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Fri Mar 31 2023
3

That one Arctic Monkeys song you remember plus some other songs that are kind of like that

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Fri Mar 24 2023
2

I don't know what it is, but I've never cared for the Arctic Monkeys. This album didn't help change my mind.

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Thu May 04 2023
2

Like, just listen to Gang of Four or something, geez.

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Tue Aug 03 2021
1

Really good, except I have a visceral reaction to Alex Turner, aka British Fred Durst.

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Sat Apr 24 2021
5

ah sim macaquinhos do arctico

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Mon Apr 19 2021
5

Discazo por donde se le vea. Mucha energía, es sobrecogedor. La mejor es Mardy Bum pero tiene grandes canciones como When The Sun Goes Down y Fake Tales From San Francisco. Se siente fresco y acelerado, lo cual hace fabulosos los momentos donde bajan el tempo y puedes recuperar un poco de aire. 4.5 que sube.

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Thu Jan 14 2021
5

Nice. Reminds me of the best of the punk era, with perhaps a bit better guitar playing.

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Tue Jun 15 2021
5

I loved this album. Great stuff. Right in my wheelhouse

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Wed Jun 02 2021
5

Where I was in my teenage years for not listen to this all day? I recognize the most famous songs, but the whole album is great!

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Wed Jan 20 2021
5

This album reminds me of my teenage years. Dirty guitars, funny lyrics, MASSIVE drumming. One of the best first albums by a band in rock history. I'll keep listen to it for the rest of my life.

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Wed Mar 10 2021
5

Really liked this! High energy but I stayed with it all the way through. Will definitely relisten, maybe a 9 from me

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Wed Mar 10 2021
5

great album, extremely bri’ish.

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Sat Jun 05 2021
5

Un debut demoledor, cuesta creer que esos mocosos consiguieran semejante disco.

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Tue Feb 23 2021
5

I forgot all about these guys. Great album from start to finish!

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Mon Jun 14 2021
5

No other album has had such an impact on me.

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Wed May 05 2021
5

One of the best debuts in the last 30 years. When the Sun Goes Down is one of the greatest riffs in indie rock.

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Mon Jun 21 2021
5

Ferocious and snarky dance punk that hits hard from the first to last track! Somehow I overlooked this band when I was in high school and only really ever listened to the singles. Will have this one on repeat for a while.

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Wed Jul 21 2021
5

Amazing album. In my personal opinion the Article Monkeys best. This album just has such great energy to it. The whole thing feels like a night out in bars and clubs. One of my all time favourites.

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Fri Jul 16 2021
5

I've loved this album for a couple years now so this will be biased. My favorite project from the the band even though AM is more popular and has a more pop-y sound. You can hear the grit of the concerts in the music.

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Sun Jun 06 2021
5

A modern day punk record you can dance to. For a debut album it’s a masterclass in rocking out and having a blast while doing it. Every track is cool and riffy and flying through at the speed of sound.

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Tue Jun 22 2021
5

Didn't even need to listen to this one I know every word

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Mon May 31 2021
5

A disc i heard a lot of times. It´s a refreshing young version of rock that we need in those years of the begining of XXIº century. By the way, i love song called "I bet you look good on the dancefloor". Very coloured songs.

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Fri Jul 02 2021
5

Grandisimo disco. Inconfundible estilo de los Artic Monkeys. Esa frescura en sus instrumentales y esa voz inconfundible que hacen que sea una gran experiencia escucharles.

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Sat Jul 24 2021
5

It's 5 stars. We all know that.

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Tue Aug 03 2021
5

It's too bad Arctic Monkey's follow-up, "Favourite Worst Nightmare," isn't on the list. It opens with "Brianstorm" - not a typo -- "Brian Top marks for not tryin' So kind of you to bless us with your effortlessness We're grateful and so strangely comforted" Which reminds me so much of these reviews. I don't think they're "not tryin'," but they do make it seem effortless. As for Arctic Monkeys and "Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not," more top marks are deserved. This was their debut, and they made a huge impact. I listened to their first two albums a lot, but didn't keep up with them. I don't know anything from their 3rd or 4th albums, which I think weren't as commercially successful. (The debut was actually a really huge hit, but I don't recognize any songs from 3 and 4 - no US radio play?) Their 5th, "AM," was also pretty big and I know some of those songs, but I don't know their most recent record. But "Whatever" absolutely holds up. (So does "Favourite.") So much great energy and brilliant lyrics from Alex Turner. He has a refreshingly different English accent and style of singing after too much Brit-pop on the list. I also enjoy the thematic nature of "Whatever," without it being a full concept or story album. I was thinking about going with a 4, because I think "Favourite" is a little bit better (the rare improvement on the sophomore album). However, the more I listen and think about it, the more I realize that they are both 5-star albums for me, with infinite replayability.

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Sat Aug 07 2021
5

One of the greatest debut albums of all time

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Mon Aug 09 2021
5

Energetic like only young new bands can record. Witty like the best writers and sung in Sheffield vernacular too. Great fun.

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Sat Aug 14 2021
5

I really enjoyed this one. Especially the excellent instrumentation. I've listened to Arctic Monkeys and enjoyed them in the past, but not this particularly album. I can't listen to them for too long in one go, as I find them a bit too hectic for that. But I do feel like I could listen to them more often and check out their other albums.

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Tue Sep 14 2021
5

the bass line is hot asf and i really love this album. overall fun time blaring arctic monkeys on the speakers especially when the sun goes down.

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Mon Sep 20 2021
5

So that album remembered me about my school days and my first relations with a guy who loved old tracks by Arctic Monkeys

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Tue Sep 21 2021
5

A good bit of sticky romance, loved this when it came out. Was tossing up between 4 and 5, 5 stars firmed up the more I listened

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Sat Sep 25 2021
5

Still sounds like an unbelievably assured debut

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Sun Oct 03 2021
5

One of the great debut albums. There was nothing like it when it was released. Witty, gritty, loud and demanding endless replays. Lots of stand out tracks too.

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Wed Oct 06 2021
5

I'd heard I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor on the radio and thought it was alright - not amazing, but not crap either. Then a mate played me the full album and I got it. This would easily go into my top 10 albums of all time.

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Fri Oct 08 2021
5

один из лучших их Альбомов у них

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Thu Oct 14 2021
5

Þetta er svo ógeðslega töff plata!

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Tue Oct 19 2021
5

Well this goes straight to the top of my "knew they were critically acclaimed but never sought them out" surprise list. And another one that I can't find anything that I don't like and nothing else that I would ask for. Listened three times. Every song hits. Noticed the bass lines and drums a lot more in the repeat playings. Great energy without being screamy or annoying and lyrically great without being complicated or pretentious. Definitely checking out the rest of their catalog now.

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Wed Oct 20 2021
5

I never want to become a person who doesn't think 'get on your dancing shoes, you sexy little swine' is not a brilliant lyric to open a song with. This is essentially the soundtrack to my first year at university. I have a great memory of my friend whose American and really into AM get so excited the first time we got in a taxi and he saw the "red lights indicate doors are secure" sticker!

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Wed Nov 17 2021
5

High paced indie rock that brings everything to the table. Starts and never lets up. Highlight Tracks: 1, 2, 9, 11, 13

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Wed Nov 17 2021
5

Awesome album! Great example of indie "post-punk".

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Sat Nov 27 2021
5

Great album! Maybe it is a bit generic, but I am not very familiar with this genre of music, so I wouldn't know.

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Sat Dec 11 2021
5

клёвый альбом 9/10/8

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Sat Dec 18 2021
5

An obvious five plus for me considering its my all time favourite album ever of all time. No bad songs. Could do a six paragraph op ed on the birth of the new frontier of indie guitar bands but will save it for another time

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Tue Jan 04 2022
5

A masterpiece. Such an amazing debut from the Arctic Monkeys

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