Second albums are frustrating. If you own the first (and were a fan thereof), you typically listen to #2 with unreastic and unfulfilled expectations. The act may seem to have lost their freshness, rushed it out with too much filler and/or sound too jaded/desperate/arrogant. If you don’t own the first one (if much-heralded), then you feel like you’ve come along too late and missed all the fun.
Arctic Monkeys had the biggest ever UK debut album. This was the follow up. I don’t own the debut, but certainly heard loads of it around the traps back (so much that I didn’t feel compelled to buy it). I bought this sophmoric effort on a whim (I’m sure it was on sale).
It starts off like a streamtrain. The opening few tracks are fantastic – vocals up front to appreciate the strong writing, catchy hooks, driving rhythms. Unfortunately it trails off awfully. By track six it seems to lost pace and direction. It all becomes too slow and contemplative. If they’d kept up the standard of the front half, this would be a great album. Alas they don’t and I am tempted to delete the back half from my iPod!
File under: Go out hard but fade in the homestraight