It's A Bit Complicated

  • Record Label: Downtown
  • Release Date: Jun 19, 2007
User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 26 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 26
  2. Negative: 1 out of 26

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  1. SeanD
    Jul 29, 2007
    6
    Definitely not as good as the first but its not without its merits. lyrics are still gold, music is now stale
  2. Colin
    Jun 20, 2007
    10
    They've done it again, another brilliant album. And technically better than the first album, the snobs who shunned that may have to eat their words.
  3. matta
    Jun 20, 2007
    9
    What the fuck is wrong with the Village Voice? They gave a 30 to the new White Stripes album too. What is it, try and look like a credible music critic by panning solid albums week? I'm not in love with the new White Stripes, but it certainly doesn't deserve a 30 (I'd say around a 7/10). But this? Unbelievable. I can see some "critics" blasting it for it's more What the fuck is wrong with the Village Voice? They gave a 30 to the new White Stripes album too. What is it, try and look like a credible music critic by panning solid albums week? I'm not in love with the new White Stripes, but it certainly doesn't deserve a 30 (I'd say around a 7/10). But this? Unbelievable. I can see some "critics" blasting it for it's more fleshed-out production, but that is the only complaint I can see anyone giving that liked the first album. It is simply a continuation of Bang Bang, and Argos's brilliant wit is still intact. And the music is still great too, in spite of the higher production values. If publications are going to just be totally irrational in their ratings (Spin's review of the new Dizzee Rascal also comes to mind; in fact, all of Spin's reviews come to mind), then they shouldn't be included on Metacritic. It's not fair to artists who are putting out great albums that are generally loved by everyone else. Expand
  4. CharmlessMan
    Jun 20, 2007
    2
    This album sadly lacks the charm of the original, both musically and lyrically. On the musical front, the departure of original guitarist Chris Chinchilla has diminished the playfulness of the guitar riffs. Everything now sounds heavier and more overdone. Lyrically, much of the humor is either missing or too blatant and forced to be funny. Whilst the songs' themes would fit on the This album sadly lacks the charm of the original, both musically and lyrically. On the musical front, the departure of original guitarist Chris Chinchilla has diminished the playfulness of the guitar riffs. Everything now sounds heavier and more overdone. Lyrically, much of the humor is either missing or too blatant and forced to be funny. Whilst the songs' themes would fit on the debut, their treatment here is heavy-handed and cloying. Argos' insecurities, previously self-mocking, now seem all too serious, particularly on a track such as Jealous Guy, where he describes his frustration that his girlfriend may have had sex more often with previous boyfriends. Whilst we may sympathise with the remnants of a schoolboy crush, such as on Emily Kane, listening to a grown man describe his sexual insecurities (which also feature here on Nag*4. Likewise, two cloying and nostalgic songs about making mixtapes (Nag*4 and Sounds of Summer) do no add up to one My Little Brother. Argos' perspective on sex and relationships have been dealt with more interestingly by bands such as Pulp and Arab Strap. Oh and Art Brut are about as punk as this website. Expand
  5. BrendanD.
    Aug 2, 2007
    8
    Art Brut is Gen-Y's Ramones. Doubt me? Listen to their first record. "Formed a Band" is the same kind of mindf*ck of a thumping rock song, bursting out of the speakers the way that "Blitzkrieg Bop" did in 1976. "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend" is echoed (and pulled to full fruition) in "Good Weekend." Art Brut's first record was such a wonderful listen that, much like "Leave Home" Art Brut is Gen-Y's Ramones. Doubt me? Listen to their first record. "Formed a Band" is the same kind of mindf*ck of a thumping rock song, bursting out of the speakers the way that "Blitzkrieg Bop" did in 1976. "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend" is echoed (and pulled to full fruition) in "Good Weekend." Art Brut's first record was such a wonderful listen that, much like "Leave Home" was for the Ramones, "It's A Bit Complicated" was bound to be a letdown. And yes, it is, in comparison to "Bang Bang Rock & Roll." But there's a lot of growth here. The backing harmonies and doo-wops have come out of the closet (so to speak), providing subtle vocal textures over which Eddie Argos's subversively sincere vocals raise the bar for deadpan, self-mocking speak-singing (Argos, I argue, has more in common with Bob Dylan than Joey Ramone, but I suppose that's debatable). "It's a Bit Complicated" certainly isn't the masterpiece that "Bang Bang Rock & Roll" was, but it's damned good. And if these guys are truly the Neo-Ramones, the best is yet to come -- remember, "Rocket to Russia" was the Ramones' THIRD record. Expand
  6. DavidA.
    Jun 27, 2007
    8
    On first listen, I was sadly disappointed. I was such a fan of the first's satricial bravado, the rawness of the music. This one sounded just less than. However, on repeated listens, songs like direct hit and post soothing out have left a real impression that this band was more than a one trick pony.
  7. MycroftW.
    Jun 27, 2007
    9
    Good clean fun all round, which should land these guys a bunch of hit singles
  8. ToddW.
    Jul 12, 2007
    5
    Where the first album was both musically fresh and lyrically hilarious, this album seems a bit...been there, done that. Instead of a must-listen in the heady glow of discovery, this album is more of a brown bag, dark room, close the curtains affair. You don't want to to tell your friends, who thought the first album was great and rocked side-by-side with you at their live shows, how Where the first album was both musically fresh and lyrically hilarious, this album seems a bit...been there, done that. Instead of a must-listen in the heady glow of discovery, this album is more of a brown bag, dark room, close the curtains affair. You don't want to to tell your friends, who thought the first album was great and rocked side-by-side with you at their live shows, how disappointed you are in their second offering, so you'll try desperately to keep it to yourself that you actually paid good money for another round of less-than-the-same. Expand
  9. AndrewT
    Jul 17, 2007
    8
    Cool album, would not be without it.
  10. ChrisT
    Jul 20, 2007
    8
    This shit fucking rocks, it's straight punk, only thing is the vocalist happens to be a wise ass, but that's not a bad thing, once you get to know the songs and get baked, that record is awesome. I really don't know what people were expecting, but this is just a solid sophmore album, and to all the critics who didn't give this record rep, you are jealous jealous This shit fucking rocks, it's straight punk, only thing is the vocalist happens to be a wise ass, but that's not a bad thing, once you get to know the songs and get baked, that record is awesome. I really don't know what people were expecting, but this is just a solid sophmore album, and to all the critics who didn't give this record rep, you are jealous jealous jealous jealos. Collapse
  11. DanB.
    Sep 19, 2007
    5
    Who is this guy, Rex Harrison? He speak-sings! That said, People In Love is amazing. I can't stand it anymore, but only because I listened to it about 500 times in a row.
  12. May 5, 2011
    9
    Eddie Argos is a stalwart of English eccentricity, to be mentioned in the same breath as Jarvis **** Mark E. Smith, Luke Haines and Ian Dury. The second Art Brut album only confirms this fact.
Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 21
  2. Negative: 1 out of 21
  1. It all adds up to something lovably unpretentious – and pretty unique.
  2. One trick pony's they may arguably be, but they've done the same trick twice and pulled it off.
  3. Entertainment Weekly
    75
    Idiosyncratic yet entertaining guitar-based pop. [22 Jun 2007, p.69]