The prasising reviews and the soaring sales
are hardly a surprise, and the Monkeys were indeed aware of the positive
prejudice that was to welcome their next move. „We knew that whatever we do on
the second album, it will get played on the radio, so we thought we might as
well do something interesting this time,” said singer-songwriter Alex Turner
in an interview.
It is then a bit of a surprise that „Favourite
Worst Nightmare” does not take on radically new ways; in fact, it delivers
pretty much the same of the energetic, crafty, somewhat barren and
quintessentially British rock music that was introduced on its predecessor. The
guitar and the vocals are as much a rhythm instrument here as the drums (having
said that, drummer Matt Helders' performance is jaw-droppingly amazing
throughout the album), and songs are as far from being theatrical as possible.
The slight changes in orchestration may point to new
directions for the band – if they stick to this work ethic, we'll hear it in
one year –, but if there is a major difference between their first two LPs, it
is in the general mood: this time, everything is darker, and the dominant
sentiment is no longer that of irony, it is plain anger.
And the Arctic Monkeys is still one of the best bands
around these days.