I think that it is going to be more and more obsessive !
Back in 2005, when I first heard an Arctic Monkeys song via MySpace, I liked their energy, their youth and their sound. Then, I listened to their first album and I liked the singer’s voice. I honestly didn’t know who he was and what he looked like until I saw them on stage in UK.
I can affirm that I only liked Arctic Monkeys onto their music and not because of the attractiveness of the members. Basically, none of them is really my type… and they all could be my kid (technically speaking, of course).
So I started to listen to them with some interest without been totally fascinated although a few months later, two songs hit my mind. There were “I bet you look good on the dancefloor” and “Perhaps vampires is a bit strong but...”. Alex Turner’s (lead singer and front man, should I state that ?) way of performing them drew my attention and his northern accent really turned me on (some Liverpuldian reminiscence ?). So far, his voice is the main point of attraction, along with music and lyrics. The older, the better I should say.
I definitely fell for Arctic Monkeys when I first heard “Do Me A Favor”. I don’t know how to explain it but I knew by instinct that this band shall be into my musical life for good, as Blur is.
I might like a lot of bands & songs anyhow I am truly faithful to three bands : Blur, Arctic Monkeys & The Beach Boys.
Arctic Monkeys has this incredible front man. A band without a front man is not a good one. Usually, the front man has to get charisma, sexiness and a part of je-ne-sais-quoi.
Within the band, two out of the four have that ability : Alex Turner & Matt Helders. I don’t know what Matt Helders’ future would be made of. He’s got enough talent to keep on doing an excellent drummer and a very amazing actor in videos, knowing exactly how to draw attention.
But it is quite different for Turner. In 2005, it was undeniable that this fragile young guy with a post-adolescence face and his skinny figure had enough charisma to be a leader. But he had the cons of his youth, that is to say nervousness. He looked so shy on stage that it was pretty much boring. They all were performing songs, close to album versions, and went off the stage without a word or a look to the audience. I guess that being in the spotlights was not really their cup of tea.
Turner had face another spotlight whilst his relationship with a British TV presenter. I was not sure that he would, one day, blossomed on stage. But he did. Since last spring, he did. I don’t know whether it is his new hairdo or the way he assumes who he is, but he now has existence on stage. He knows how to flirt with the audience and keep eyes contacts with the front row.
It was obvious in Casino de Paris gig but more certainly on the Olympia gig. Turner became a man. That is all good for Arctic Monkeys.
This paper is not an ode to Alex Turner, but to a young band that did four albums, pretty brilliant and so rock that their ballads are even more gorgeous, especially written by young boys (mainly Tuner, by the way).
Just listen to “Cornerstone” (Humbug album) or “Love is a Laserquest” (Suck it & See) to get an opinion onto Turner’s skill to write gorgeous lyrics and ballads. His experiences with The Last Shadow Puppets or Submarine’s soundtrack might have revealed himself into this brilliant songwriter. So, yes indeed, he is not the best singer ever, his voice might aggravate many of you, but the sound and lyrics are good, first-class, considering his age.
I might not be objective whenever it comes to Arctic Monkeys, but the fact is that many bands lost the battle from “newcomer” to “Group”. They have that je-ne-sais-quoi which makes them be excellent.
As I wrote in a review about Submarine Soundtrack, Tuner’s name will have a major impact in British music and to music in general. Someone told me (my so-called manager) that I can’t help refereeing to blur in any paper I write about music. So here it goes again… Turner makes me think about Damon Albarn, (Front man-singer-songwriter of Blur, Gorillaz, The Good The Bad and The Queen, RocketJuice and the Moon, etc.) : this kind of obsession with music, getting different influences, go off the path and accomplish greats compositions. Albarn is a genius in music (Listen to his opera “Dr Dee” trailer). Turner is going to achieve that, sooner or later.
So, let’s have a musical dream : a studio, 2 songwriters/singers (Albarn & Turner), and 2 of the greatest British guitarists I know (Graham Coxon & Bill Ryder Jones), add a help from a few friends (Kane, Helders, etc.) and you may have the perfect album ever recorded.
A few songs I deeply love from Arctic Monkeys :
Love Is A Laserquest
Perhaps Vampires Is A Bit Strong But
I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor
Do Me A Favor
Last song RUmine
And from Alex Turner (The Last Shadow Puppets & Submarine)
My Mistakes Are Made For You
Glass In The Park