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 20 reviews
2006 Ratings: #29 / 687
User Score
2006 Ratings: #10
Liked by 87 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 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.

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 Observer

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

Entertainment Weekly

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


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.

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.
Rolling Stone
A start-to-finish rush of invigorating riffs and pointed narratives that heightens with repeated exposure.
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.

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.

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

Oi yeah, we jus' a buch' o' lads o' that prowl lov, chea Mona you mardy copperwire, gone up th' piss oi', ya stingy snailcoin.

Yep. I said that.

Arctic Monkeys are one of those artists that are so inundated with British culture (at lest from an outsiders perspective) that they almost seem inseparable from it. So, what led them to go down the rabbit whole that is the bands discography? What made them go from niche garage rock darlings to arena ... read more
I don't trust anyone who doesn't say that this is Arctic Monkey's best album
☆☆☆☆ 1/2

Powerful, fun, catchy riffs backing up some emotionally potent performances by Alex Turner, each track effortlessly builds momentum over one another and we're gifted a magnificent rock record that front-to-back is undeniably a lively experience with high spirits all around.
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Year End Lists

#17/Rolling Stone

Track List

  1. The View From the Afternoon
  2. I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor
  3. Fake Tales of San Francisco
  4. Dancing Shoes
  5. You Probably Couldn't See the Lights But You Were Looking Straight at Me
  6. Still Take You Home
  7. Riot Van
  8. Red Light Indicates the Doors Are Secured
  9. Mardy Bum
  10. Perhaps Vampires Is a Bit Strong But...
  11. When the Sun Goes Down
  12. From the Ritz to the Rubble
  13. A Certain Romance
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