Universal acclaim - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 33
  2. Negative: 0 out of 33
  1. If his band had either a stronger musical viewpoint or more kinetic energy, or if their songs didn't play like a heap of riffs, such provincial shortcomings would be transcended by the sheer force of the music. But the music, while good, is not great.
  2. Yes, theirs is a sound similar to a lot of the names jaded hipsters and criterati will spew on auto-fire disdain, but no-one else really sounds like them, and very few people indeed are writing taut rockin' pop songs under three minutes long that are simultaneously as smart and as unpretentious as those proffered here.
  3. At times charming, oddly affecting, and certainly promising but understandably something less than life changing.
  4. 100
    The thrill it provides will send a shiver of recognition through anyone who grew up with The Specials, The Smiths or Parklife. [Album of the Month, March 2006, p.86]
  5. So no, it's not perfect. But Whatever People Say... has that edge, that thrill that comes only when a band have hit the zeitgeist hard and timed the punch to perfection. [Mar 2006, p.102]
  6. 90
    This is thrilling, incontrovertible evidence of a major new talent in our midst. [Mar 2006, p.102]
  7. A start-to-finish rush of invigorating riffs and pointed narratives that heightens with repeated exposure.
  8. Even if you've been fortunate enough to live with these tracks over the last year or so, they still sound more vital, more likely to make you form your own band than anything else out there.
  9. It's not a totally perfect record, for which we should be thankful - remember what happened to The Stone Roses after they'd released their flawless debut? - but it is an excellent first album, and gives notice that Alex Turner is already one of this country's best lyricists.
  10. Song after song returns to the same nightclubs for the same set of cocky put-downs and faintly misogynist come-ons. Meanwhile, the band fumbles through a sound that seems to have been assembled from pieces of retro-minded rock acts like The Strokes and Franz Ferdinand, but without the sense of purpose or history.
  11. 83
    Blunt and bratty, emotionally pubescent. [Mar 2006, p.93]
  12. The spectre of Oasis lurks around Arctic Monkeys, proof that even the most promising beginnings can turn into a dreary, reactionary bore. For now, however, they look and sound unstoppable.
  13. This club-crawler's-eye-view perspective sets Turner apart from his contemporaries, as does the music. [24 Feb 2006, p.60]
  14. This is the new big British band? This is barely inspired enough to make it off campus.
  15. Their riff-heavy songs are brashly delivered – favouring attitude over technique – but it's Turner's keenly observed vignettes of bored text-messaging teens that really connect.
  16. When the record's not playing, it's hard to miss it, and the tracks that aren't standouts are simply boring.
  17. 100
    What elevates the Monkeys into a class of their own is Turner. [Apr 2006, p.113]
  18. As fun and crafty a debut as you’re likely to hear this year.
  19. One good single does not a great album make, and unfortunately, the rest of the record becomes pretty tedious, pretty quickly.
  20. A remarkable debut by a band full of raw energy. [25 Feb 2006]
  21. You probably won't hear a better CD all year long. [30 Jan 2006]
  22. Such is the depth and quality of Turner's songwriting, it plays like a best of.
  23. Put it this way: do you think "Panic (Hang the DJ)" with its unique branch of bitterness, provincialism, and notions of white pride was the Smiths' best song? You'll be like a hog in shit here, then. If not... avoid. Like the plague.
  24. So yeah, this album is pretty freakin’ good... but it’s not going to change your perspective on music.
  25. 70
    The Arctic Monkeys are not a bad band; they're just a band with catchy lyrics, summer blues riffs and an arsenal of runaway hits. [Mar 2006, p.112]
  26. The trouble is, the much-lauded braggadocio of 'Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not' is hollow.
  27. There are some impossibly fun tunes in the mix.... But will this album really change your life? No.
  28. The prevailing lack of substance declares itself by the time "Still Take You Home" kicks in, and it becomes evident that Alex Turner’s somewhat chirpy vocals are the album’s lone cohesive influence.
  29. A high-energy smash-and-grab debut.
  30. Despite dozens of listens, much of Whatever People Say congeals together like so much spent gravy, with only the clever couplets sticking out.
  31. Many details are too U.K.-specific for Yank-yob gratification. But aesthetes will come to enjoy Taylor's nuanced adenoids and his bandmates' thought-through arrangements.
  32. Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not manages to celebrate and mock its cultural milieu simultaneously with genuine affection and sarcasm balanced so well that the scale never tips too far either way.
  33. It’s exciting stuff, simple yet deadly effective.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 633 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 69 out of 321
  1. Nov 24, 2010
    Whatever People Say is one of my favorite rock albums. The hooky guitar riffs and Alex's lyrics always get me in the mood. Every song feelsWhatever People Say is one of my favorite rock albums. The hooky guitar riffs and Alex's lyrics always get me in the mood. Every song feels like a single. Fake Tales From San Francisco, A Certain Romance, Riot Van, and I Bet That You Look Good On The Dance Floor are all amazing songs. All In All, Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not is an astonishing record that needs to be listened too as soon as possible. A Full Review »
  2. markc
    Jan 27, 2006
    the best debut album in 15 years absolute class
  3. j30
    Sep 22, 2011
    Stellar debut album by the kids from Sheffield and happens to be one of the best records of the past decade.