[The Noughties] Whatever People Say…
What’s good peeps? This is the second edition of a new series we here at SpacePack are trying out. The ten part series will showcase some of our favourite albums, and the artists that crafted them, of the last decade. Looking back, we’ll check out albums that we (Rich, Kenny, and myself) found to be particularly influential, creative or that remain staples in our music collections.
When this series was first proposed, I had a ton of albums in mind that I wished to showcase. However, when I was flipping through my iTunes library, a piece of album artwork came up that set my mind straight. The image you see above is the album cover for the 2006 debut release Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I Am Not from the English indie rock group Arctic Monkeys. The pure awesomeness of this album is hard to do justice with words, but here’s my best stab at it.
When listening to this album, there is really one thing to keep in mind; Whatever… is intended to be a concept album that focuses on the behavior of night clubbers. Essentially, it’s all about Saturday night and Sunday mornings.
Take the opening track Leave Before The Lights Come On for example. One of the lines front man Alex Turner sings is ‘Quick let’s leave before the lights come on ‘cos then you don’t have to see what you’ve done’, a clear tale of a one night stand and the next morning’s realization of what the fuck did I do last night?
The band kicks it into high gear with their next track and arguably greatest hit to date, I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor. Following the perspective of an eager club goer (I sometimes like to think that the album follows the perspective of the bloke pictured above), this track takes a realistic view of night club romancing ‘Oh, there ain’t no love, no Montagues or Capulets/Just banging tunes and DJ sets and/Dirty dancefloors, and dreams of naughtiness!’ Who ever said chivalry was dead?
Many of the tracks follow similar themes of the Northern England night scene but each framed in a different way. The track Dancing Shoes is about people always looking to pull when they go out however much they mask it. Still Take You Home is exactly what it sounds like, the trials and tribulations of romancing a girl, if only for an evening. Perhaps You Couldn’t See for the Lights But You Were Starring Straight At Me is not only a long ass title for a song, but also discusses the common behaviour of guys when a pretty girl is around, cracking jokes and peacockin’ to get here attention. I’m pretty sure everyone can relate with this one.
Riot Van takes a more mellow departure from the album up to this point. It’s a real slow burner of a tune and marks a change in mood for the album.
Mardy Bum is one of my all time favorites, not just on the album but in general. It has a beautiful guitar hook and I believe is the first song on the album that doesn’t directly talk about pulling girls on the night scene. I had to do some digging on this one, but ‘Mardy’ is English slang for ‘moody’. Not exactly sure how this relates to the song, moody bum anyone?
The album comes to a close with another fantastic standout hit that challenges Mardy Bum for supremacy of ‘favorite song’. I can pinpoint this track as the one that turned me onto the album as a whole rather than just the singles. Favorite line, There’s only music so that there’s new ringtones. Ha!
All in all, the superb drumming of Matt Helders, the rhythmic basslines of Nick O’Malley and Andy Nicholson and the definitively English vocals of Alex Turner set this album head and shoulders above all others (at least within the past 10 years). Whether it be peacocking yourself to the opposite sex, burning tile on the dancefloor, or being thrown into a riot van, the Arcitc Monkeys tell one hell of a story through each of the tracks on this album. It took a lot of restraint not to post all songs from this album, so if you like what you hear I strongly urge you to go out and buy Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I Am Not, she’s a beauty………even in the morning after.
Keep an eye out for the Arctic Monkey’s upcoming release Suck It and See. LOL!