Maybe it wasn't such a brilliant idea for the Arctic Monkeys to jump right back into the recording studio to cut their sophomore album so soon after their debut hit the streets. Favourite Worst Nightmare has that elusive "exactly the same only different" quality that record label bosses love to hear in follow-ups to huge sellers, and you'll immediately notice the sound is much bigger and fuller, thanks to producers James Ford and Mike Crossey along with mix-master Alan Moulder. Alex Turner's bold guitar riffs are right up front, and the propulsive rhythm section of Nick O'Malley and Matt Helders is impressively tight. Where the Monkeys come up short is in their compositions, which are beginning to sound formulaic. Turner would be wise to put down the rhyming dictionary, get off the luxury tour bus and return to living life for a while.
Arctic Monkeys drop by for a gig at the Kool Haus May 11.