Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not

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Performance

Reviewer

Marcus Yoars

Album Review

Pro-Social Content

On “Perhaps Vampires Is a Bit Strong but …” lead vocalist Alex Turner esteems sincerity and people who put thoughts into action.

Objectionable Content

Challenged for underage drinking, a teen mouths off to a policeman on “Riot Van.” Splashes of alcohol also appear on “The View From the Afternoon,” “Fake Tales of San Francisco” and “Red Light Indicates Doors Are Secure.” That last one drops fans into the British club scene—a world of Smirnoff Ice, Tropical Reefs, female trophies and drunken fisticuffs. “When the Sun Goes Down” describes a “scummy man” in the habit of cruising a red-light district and hiring prostitutes. Turner alludes to “dreams of naughtiness” (“I Bet You Look Good on the Dance Floor”). On “Still Take You Home” he verbally abuses a girl, only to decide she’s good for a one-night stand. Harsh language sown sparingly throughout the disc includes the f-word, s-word and the English profanity “w–ker.” CD pix reveal the band’s fondness for cigarettes.

Summary Advisory

Sonic whiplash. That’s one possible consequence of spinning this unpredictably kinetic phenomenon from across the pond—the fastest-selling debut in U.K. history. Another is an introduction to British nightlife, with its alcohol, sexual hook-ups and disrespectful slang, as seen through the eyes of frustrated young men. Whatever People Say… is one import sure to leave families cold.

Marcus Yoars
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