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Alternative & Indie - Released September 9, 2013 | Domino Recording Co

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Hi-Res Audio - Mercury Prize Selection
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Alternative & Indie - Released January 23, 2006 | Domino Recording Co

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Mercury Prize Selection
To the thousands of questions raised about themselves, the Arctic Monkeys answer Whatever People Say I Am, I Am Not. Their success story, born in bars and on the Internet, is as huge as it is dazzling. Smashing the British sales record – over 360,000 albums sold in a week −, they receive this memorable accolade from the Times: Bigger than the Beatles! In Great Britain, ever since the Libertines have burnt out, the horizon had turned dull grey. All until this fluorescent-adolescent quartet from Sheffield. Led by the timid Alex Turner, the Monkeys concocted for this perfect first album thirteen frantic tracks bordering on genius, that the NME ranked 19th in its 500 Greatest albums of all time list. It featured everything that had been missing from the rock landscape. Incisive guitar riffs for Turner’s scruffy compositions (The View From The Afternoon, I Bet You Look Better On The Dancefloor, Dancing Shoes) and Matt Helders’ cheeky drums. Andy Nicholson on the bass for the last time. They play, hard and fast. The whole thing is overflowing with extensive lyrics about the daily life of the English working class. Shiny but not polished, youthful but well formed. Recorded in the country side, in the Chapel Studios in Lincolnshire, this opus draws from the Strokes’ nonchalance (Riot Van), Franz Ferdinand’s dancing energy (Red Light Indicates Doors Are Secured) and the Libertines’ phlegm (Mardy Bum), while also drawing inspiration from their idols, the Jam, the Smiths, and Oasis, already putting down their very own trademarks for years to come. © Charlotte Saintoin/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released May 11, 2018 | Domino Recording Co

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Alternative & Indie - Released April 24, 2007 | Domino Recording Co

Distinctions Mercury Prize Selection
Breathless praise is a time-honored tradition in British pop music, but even so, the whole brouhaha surrounding the 2006 debut of the Arctic Monkeys bordered on the absurd. It wasn't enough for the Arctic Monkeys to be the best new band of 2006; they had to be the saviors of rock & roll. Lead singer/songwriter Alex Turner had to be the best songwriter since Noel Gallagher or perhaps even Paul Weller, and their debut, Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not, at first was hailed as one of the most important albums of the decade, and then, just months after its release, NME called it one of the Top Five British albums ever. Heady stuff for a group just out of their teens, and they weathered the storm with minimal damage, losing their bassist but not their sense of purpose as they coped in the time-honored method for young bands riding the wave of enormous success: they kept on working. All year long they toured, rapidly writing and recording their second album, Favourite Worst Nightmare, getting it out just a little over a year after their debut, a speedy turnaround by any measure. Some may call it striking when the iron is hot, cashing in while there's still interest, but Favourite Worst Nightmare is the opposite of opportunism: it's the vibrant, thrilling sound of a band coming into its own. The Arctic Monkeys surely showed potential on Whatever People Say I Am, but their youthful vigor often camouflaged their debt to other bands. Here, they're absorbing their influences, turning their liberal borrowings from the Libertines, the Strokes, and the Jam into something that's their own distinct identity. Unlike any of those three bands, however, the Arctic Monkeys haven't stumbled on their second album; they haven't choked on hubris, they haven't overthought their sophomore salvo, nor have they cranked it out too quickly. That constant year of work resulted in startling growth as the band is testing the limits of what they can do and where they can go. Favourite Worst Nightmare hardly abandons the pleasures of their debut but instead frantically expands upon them. They still have a kinetic nervous energy, but this isn't a quartet that bashes out simply three-chord rock & roll. The Monkeys may start with an infectious riff, but then they'll violently burst into jagged yet tightly controlled blasts of post-punk squalls, or they'll dress a verse with circular harmonies as they do at the end of "Fluorescent Adolescent." Their signature is precision, evident in their concise songs, deftly executed instrumental interplay, and the details within Turner's wry wordplay, which is clever but never condescending. Indeed, the remarkable thing about the Arctic Monkeys -- which Favourite Worst Nightmare brings into sharp relief -- is their genuine guilelessness, how they restructure classic rock clichés in a way that pays little mind to how things were done in the past, and that all goes back to their youth. Born in the '80s and raised on the Strokes and the Libertines, they treat all rock as a level playing field, loving its traditions but not seeing musical barriers between generations, since the band learned all of rock history at once and now spit it all out in a giddy, cacophonous blend of post-punk and classic rock that sounds fresh, partially because they jam each of their very songs with a surplus of ideas. Some of this was true on their debut album, but it's the restlessness of Favourite Worst Nightmare that impresses -- they're discovering themselves as they go and, unlike so many modern bands, they're interested in the discovery and not appearances. They'll venture into darker territory, they'll slow things down on "Only Ones Who Know," they'll play art punk riffs without pretension. Here, they sound like they'll try anything, which makes this a rougher album in some ways than their debut, which indeed was more cohesive. All the songs on Whatever shared a similar viewpoint, whereas the excitement here is that there's a multitude of viewpoints, all suggesting different tantalizing directions they could go. On that debut, it was possible hear all the ways they were similar to their predecessors, but here it's possible to hear all the ways the Arctic Monkeys are a unique, vibrant band and that's why Favourite Worst Nightmare is in its own way more exciting than the debut: it reveals the depth and ambition of the band and, in doing so, it will turn skeptics into believers. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released December 4, 2020 | Domino Recording Co

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The atmosphere of a live gig is never as fresh as when you sweat in the pit. But in these times of lockdown, it is through live albums that we have to let off steam, and relive the vibrant ambiance of gigs past. And so it is good news that Alex Turner's gang have chosen this moment to release one. In 2018, the Arctic Monkeys begin a long tour to promote the spring release of Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino, a fabulous swerve towards French kinetic sensuality, and away from rock anthems hammered by Matt Helders' drums. This live performance was filmed at the Royal Albert Hall in London, and the profits were donated to War Child UK, as are the proceeds from the release of the album. The concert looks back over the band's entire discography: the classics from their period of greatest success – the first three albums – but also darker sounds with Humbug, pop with Suck It and See and their return to grace, with AM. But Alex Turner is never as good a crooner as he is when it comes to new material. If RU Mine?, which closes these twenty tracks, is worth its weight in gold, Star Treatment and One Point Perspective remain Arctic diamonds in the rough, and have yet to lose their sheen. Salutary. © Charlotte Saintoin/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released August 24, 2009 | Domino Recording Co

Facing the third album blues, the Arctic Monkeys turned to Josh Homme, the Queens of the Stone Age mastermind renowned for his collaborations but heretofore untested as a producer. On first glance, it's a peculiar pair -- the heirs of Paul Weller meet the heavy desert mystic -- but this isn't a team of equals, it's a big brother helping his little siblings go wayward and get weird. Homme doesn't imprint his own views on the Monkeys but encourages them to follow their strange instincts, whether it's a Nick Cave obsession or the inclination to emphasize atmosphere over energy. Wading into the murk of Humbug it becomes clear that the common ground between the Monkeys and Homme is the actual act of making music, the pleasure of not knowing what comes next when an entire band is drifting inside a zone. Since so much of Humbug is about its process, it's not always immediately accessible or pleasurable to an outside listener, nor is it quite the thickly colored freakout Homme's presence suggests. The Monkeys still favor angular riffs and clenched rhythms, constructing tightly framed vignettes not widescreen epics, but they're working with a darker palette and creating vaguely abstract compositions, sensibilities that extend to Alex Turner's words too, as he trades keen detail for vivid scrawled impressions. Every element of the album reflects a band testing its limits, seeing where they could -- not necessarily will -- go next; it's a voyage through territory that's new to them as musicians (which doesn't necessarily mean that it's also new to their audience), offering at a peek at what lies beyond via three songs cut after the desert sessions, songs informed by what they learned during their sojourn with Homme. This trio of tunes, highlighted by "Cornerstone," aren't as darkly as evocative as the rest of the dense, gnarled Humbug but they're among the best songs the album has to offer suggesting that the record may mean more in the long-term that it does on its own. Nevertheless, Humbug makes two things clear: Arctic Monkeys are serious about being in a band, about making music, and they are the first major British band in generations unencumbered by fear or spite for America. Humbug was not done with hopes of breaking the American market or reacting spitefully against it, it is solely about big, loud, dark noise. No wonder Josh Homme sensed he had a band of little brothers in Arctic Monkeys. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released June 6, 2011 | Domino Recording Co

Returning home after their Josh Homme-directed voyage into the desert, Arctic Monkeys get back to basics on their fourth album, Suck It and See. The journey is figurative: Suck It was recorded not in Sheffield, but in Los Angeles, with their longtime producer James Ford, who conjures a sound not unlike the one he captured on the band’s 2007 sophomore set Your Favourite Worst Nightmare. Homme may be gone but he’s not forgotten, not when the group regularly trades in fuzztones and heavy-booted stomps, accentuating their choruses with single-note guitar runs lifted from the Pixies. Ultimately, all these thick tones provide color on a set of songs trimmed of fatty excess and reliant on sturdy melodicism, arriving via the guitar hooks and sung melodies. Naturally, in a setting without frills, Alex Turner's lyrics are also pushed to the forefront, more so than they were on Humbug, and he shows no signs of slack, still displaying an uncanny ear for conversational rhythms and quick-witted puns. If Suck It and See is missing anything, it’s a powerhouse single. “Brick by Brick” contains a crushing riff and “Don’t Sit Down Because I Moved Your Chair” pulses with an insinuating menace, but neither are knockouts, they’re growers that get stronger with repeated spins. And in that sense, they’re quite representative of the album as a whole: Suck It and See may be at the opposite end of the spectrum from Humbug -- it’s concentrated and purposeful where its predecessor sprawled -- yet it still demands attention from the listener, delivering its rewards according to just how much time you’re willing to devote. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released October 16, 2005 | Domino Recording Co

Hailing from Sheffield, England, the Arctic Monkeys are a bona fide phenomenon, having gained a devoted live following well before any major record labels had a clue about their existence. Their debut EP, featuring their U.K. hit single "I Bet You Look Good on the Dance Floor," is raw guitar pop, which, combined with their improbable youth, conjures memories of '70s teen punk prodigies the Undertones, if the Undertones had been into U.K. and U.S. hip-hop, Oasis, System of a Down, and Queens of the Stone Age. © TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released April 25, 2006 | Domino Recording Co

The Arctic Monkeys' second EP is anchored by "The View from the Afternoon," the only song here to show up on their 2006 debut Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not, but the remaining four songs are strong, barbed, guitar rock that would've felt at home on the finished album. First up is the gnarled, nasty "Cigarette Smoker Fiona," which gives way to an effective showcase of Alex Turner's lyrical side on "Despair in the Departure Lounge," whose sparseness and distortion suggests a demo. "No Buses" trumps "Despair" due to its litheness -- this is the band at their swinging '60s best, only all the allusions are casual -- while the five-minute workout of the title shows the group's facility with syncopated rhythms and multi-tiered structures. It's not as heavy as the Humbug that would come later, but it points in that general direction. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released November 19, 2020 | Domino Recording Co

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Alternative & Indie - Released August 14, 2006 | Domino Recording Co

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Alternative & Indie - Released July 29, 2013 | Domino Recording Co

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Alternative & Indie - Released December 2, 2020 | Domino Recording Co

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Alternative & Indie - Released August 14, 2009 | Domino Recording Co

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Alternative & Indie - Released May 2, 2018 | Domino Recording Co

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Alternative & Indie - Released September 2, 2013 | Domino Recording Co

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Alternative & Indie - Released July 8, 2007 | Domino Recording Co

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Pop/Rock - Released April 12, 2011 | Domino Recording Co

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Alternative & Indie - Released April 23, 2012 | Domino Recording Co

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Alternative & Indie - Released July 29, 2013 | Domino Recording Co

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Arctic Monkeys in the magazine