… can be summed up in an interview I read in “The Fly” with Nick O’Malley from Arctic Monkeys.
Let’s get a few things straight first off. I love Arctic Monkeys. They have probably released two of the best British albums of the last 10 years, and certainly two of the best mainstream albums.
Bands can and should do what they want. If they want to branch out, experiment, change, then that is their prerogative. It is then up to their fans whether they want to follow the band on the journey.
Anyway, back to this interview. What does O’Malley have to say for himself?
“I think that the Last Shadow Puppets thing has really influenced Alex as a songwriter and also as a singer – he’s singing a lot better than he used to.” What on earth has quality of singing got to do with anything? Beside his voice was perfect. Right, I was going to give this album a 10, but it’s down to a 9.
“That whole experience has helped him to get a bigger picture and reach a bigger sound“. What for playing stadiums? 8. Nice English by the way.
“There’s a lot more musical (7), instrumental (6) things going on with the new album, rather than just guitar, bass and drums stuff.” What the fuck are you on? Guitar, bass, drums, killer fucking tune. You lot had the lot and you wanna dilute it? Fuck it. (5/10).
“We wanted it to be less simple I suppose“. Along with revolution, purity, love, suicide and accuracy, simplicity is clearly one of the half-dozen most important things on the planet / world of music. You wanna ditch it? 2/10 and I am being generous now.
“I wake up sometimes and think: ‘You know, I really should get a job’, and then it kicks in that I’ve already got one.” GIVE. UP. NOW. -4/10
“There are always gonna be people who don’t want you to change or do anything different…” Of course there are. Especially if they recognise that you are incredible at what you do, and you are stating that it is your intention to make worse records.
It is clear that Arctic Monkeys can shit in a bucket, record it, release it and still sound better than most of the dross around these days*. Their album will undoubtedly be a highlight of the 2009 mainstream. Yet my scientific analysis, unmuddied (and this is where so many so-called music-journalists get it wrong) by actually listening to the thing, proves conclusively that it is one of the worst ever albums, given that it could not even reach the -2 I awarded to Radiohead for Kid A**.
* (c) my Dad.
** one day I will listen to Kid A, and I’m sure that’ll push that score downwards a bit.