There wasn’t a record this year that had five songs better than this one. When I told Jessica that I was considering making it my top pick, she was aghast. She said, "Dad, its an EP, not a real record". So we agreed that it was ok to give it honorable mention. As you can see, I’ve had some help in compiling my top 10 this year. The whole family has weighed in and you’ll get their perspective as well as mine.
Maybe artists should consider making more EPs. A record with five great songs and nothing more is a lot better than a record with five great songs and ten mediocre ones.
There’s a reason why The Arctic Monkeys are at the of my most listened to artists this year, by a long shot. They put out three records this year, one LP and two EPs. And at least two of them are going to make my top 10 list. They are the band of 2006 in my house, not even a question about it.
So what about this record? Well it starts with a song from their LP, A View From The Afternoon. Great song, but sort of makes you wonder why you bought the EP. But not for long. Because along comes Cigarette Smoker Fiona. This is a song that could have been on Exile On Main Street. It’s got that grimy rock sound down. But then the records gets even better. Despair In The Departure Lounge is wonderful in every way. It’s about being tired, lonely, and on the road. Sure, hundreds of rock songs have been written about that. But the guys capture the vibe perfectly. The laid back vibe continues on No Buses, which keeps growing on me. It’s really just Alex and an acoustic guitar and not a lot more.
Then comes the tour de force, my favorite song of the year, the title track, Who The Fuck Are The Arctic Monkeys. This is a song about fame and its fleeting nature. One line from the song sums it all up:
Oh, in five years time, will it be
"Who the fuck’s Arctic Monkeys?"
Not a chance. These guys are the real deal. Unless fame and fortune screw them up. Which, of course, is the whole point of this EP to begin with.