Favourite Worst Nightmare (Domino)
The weight of expectation hasn’t affected the Arctic Monkeys one iota. They’ve hardly broken their stride and have tossed off a second album of casual brilliance. It almost feels unfair how off the cuff Favourite Worst Nightmare feels; the lyrics are as achingly sharp as their record breaking debut. Their points of reference have widened scope from the back alleys of Sheffield to a whole wide world of possibilities, all observed with the same nonchalant sneer and sense of humour. Heavier than its predecessor, there’s still room for shimmering misery, country balladry, surf guitars and withering put downs. The Monkeys have triumphed where so many bands stumble with an extraordinary second album that may well surpass their all conquering debut.