AOTY 2023

Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not

Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not
Critic Score
Based on 26 reviews
2006 Ratings: #18 / 729
User Score
2006 Ratings: #18
Liked by 877 people
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For those poor misguided fools who say that Arctic Monkeys are hype over substance, this is a blisteringly good album which promises even better things to come.


Whatever People Say I Am captures the band mashing up the Strokes and the Libertines at will, jamming too many angular riffs into too short a space, tearing through the songs as quickly as possible. 


Essentially this is a stripped-down, punk rock record with every touchstone of Great British Music covered

The Observer

While their debut is not entirely original, it bristles with energy, passion and an anthemic sensibility of its own devising.


Alex Turner's breathless delivery is faultless, a foaming cocktail of lust and longing, occasionally brimming over into Costello-esque rage.

God Is in the TV

It's not a classic, most of us will be sure of that. This is good pop; this is excellent, dirty, fun pop. This is the stuff girls and boys will dance to in scrotty concrete jungle indie clubs, this is the stuff people who don't even like rock and roll will like.

The Guardian

Arctic Monkeys bundle their influences together with such compelling urgency and snotty confidence that they sound like a kind of culmination: the band all the aforementioned bands have been leading up to.

Entertainment Weekly

Whatever People Say is less obsessed with retro flavor than with uninhibited rock & roll, complete with a cocky but utterly charming leader.


To pigheadedly cast Whatever People Say I Am, That What I'm Not aside you would miss out on a truly fantastic album.


Don't come at this like it's some kind of holy artifact, just treat like a rock record. Because it is one of the best (though not quite the best) rock records in recent years.


Blunt and bratty, emotionally pubescent even.

Coke Machine Glow

The Arctic Monkeys aren’t worth all of the giddy hyperbole they’ve received in recent months, but Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not is still as fun and crafty a debut as you’re likely to hear this year, one that kicks as much ass on your way to work as it does at a party or while you’re puttering around the house.

NOW Magazine

Their riff-heavy songs are brashly delivered – favouring attitude over technique – but it's Turner's keenly observed vignettes of bored text-messaging teens that really connect.

Q Magazine

So no, it's not perfect. But Whatever People Say... has that edge, that thrill that comes only when a band have hit the zeitgeist hard and timed the punch to perfection.

The Irish Times
There is indeed substance behind the hype. The scamps could yet soundtrack a generation.

Fashion and hype be damned -- this is thrilling, incontrovertible evidence of a major new talent in our midst.

Rolling Stone
A start-to-finish rush of invigorating riffs and pointed narratives that heightens with repeated exposure.
Yes, theirs is a sound similar to a lot of the names jaded hipsters and criterati will spew on auto-fire disdain, but no-one else really sounds like them, and very few people indeed are writing taut rockin' pop songs under three minutes long that are simultaneously as smart and as unpretentious as those proffered here.
At times charming, oddly affecting, and certainly promising but understandably something less than life changing.
A.V. Club
Song after song returns to the same nightclubs for the same set of cocky put-downs and faintly misogynist come-ons. Meanwhile, the band fumbles through a sound that seems to have been assembled from pieces of retro-minded rock acts like The Strokes and Franz Ferdinand, but without the sense of purpose or history.
Slant Magazine

Whether this It band can sustain any momentum beyond its current meteoric rise remains to be seen, but should Turner continue crafting his devastatingly incisive lyrics, he should be around for some time to come.


When the record’s not playing, it’s hard to miss it, and the tracks that aren’t standouts are simply boring.

No Ripcord
One good single does not a great album make, and unfortunately, the rest of the record becomes pretty tedious, pretty quickly.
Tiny Mix Tapes
This is the new big British band? This is barely inspired enough to make it off campus.

The fact that this is a debut album is astonishing coming from albums further into the AM discography, such as Humbug and TBHaC. There is a certain level of sharp writing, fantastic production, and passionate performances that allow this project to pop out of the pages. For the entire run time, it is electrifying and captivating. This album certainly earned the praise it received. I think the second half is a bit stronger on the songwriting and structure side, but throughout the album there is ... read more


I don't trust anyone who doesn't say that this is Arctic Monkey's best album


i love idnie lol


i like the riffs and how well the snare works with them in this record, but listening to them over and over again on an album that repeats the same formula is simply very tiring, not to mention that alex's vocals kinda ruin the groovy vibe for me

despite this it is an enjoyable experience, i would really like to hear each of the songs individually instead of several in a row

also, a certain romance carried


This is not my first time listening to Arctic Monkeys’ debut album so I already knew this was going to be 100/100 because every song on this album is absolutely amazing!
Every song sounds so raw but that’s what the beauty of this album is because it’s totally different to what AM would go on to sound like.
You can pick any track of this tracklist and have fun no matter what’s happening even the slower songs like Riot Van and A Certain Romance have fun moments usually ... read more


This album just sounds like the embodiment of Britain and I love it
Favourite tracks: A Certain Romance, Mardy Bum, From The Ritz To The Rubble
Least favourite tracks: None

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