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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Arctic Monkeys
Favourite Worst Nightmare
Domino

Rating: 7.4/10 ?


May 15, 2007
Hype is a funny thing. Before the Arctic Monkeys released their brilliant first record, Whatever You Say I Am, That's What I'm Not, they had already accumulated a massive and dedicated fanbase. When that album lived up to - possibly exceeded - it's hype, it only increased the level of anticipation for the band's next release. The Monkeys delivered more material in short order, dropping a series of releases - the Who The Fuck Are Arctic Monkeys? and Leave Before The Lights Come On EPs just a few months apart and on the heels of their debut - and issuing their second record, Favourite Worst Nightmare, just over a year later.

Forgive me in advance, for the Arctic Monkeys are usually critics' darlings, but Favourite Worst Nightmare simply does not live up to the hype. Whatever You Say I Am was great because it was bouncy, jubilant, unceasingly energetic, and lyrically both witty and street-smart; all quite an achievement, especially considering the tender age of the band members at the time of its recording. Favourite Worst Nightmare finds the band getting louder, more aggressive, and, as a consequence, losing some of their youthful charm.

Perhaps such a shift in character was inevitable for a band that managed to sell more records in the UK in one week than the rest of the Top 40, and perhaps it was impossible to maintain their youthful exuberance once they had the bright spotlight of fame shone on them at such a young age, and with such ferocity. Perhaps the band simply felt compelled to release a record quickly to capitalize on their growing stardom.

But let's not exaggerate: Favourite Worst Nightmare is a good record. Perhaps even a very good one. But it is not, in the face of critical assessment, up to the level of their first, which was admittedly fantastic. That said, there are numerous bright spots within the album's 12-track course, and plenty of reasons to believe the band will stick around, and perhaps some day re-reach or even surpass the peak of their first record.

The album's standout tracks include the infectious and concise "D is for Dangerous," the driving "Balaclava," and the bouncy "If You Were There, Beware." Perhaps this review has focused too much on the negatives of this far better than average record. But that's the funny thing about hype.

Reviewed by Jason Siegel
A contributing writer based in Brooklyn, New York, Jason Siegel focuses on fiction and music reviews for LAS.

See other reviews by Jason Siegel

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