Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not Music Poster Image

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



Edgy poetry with a fresh sound. Teens and up.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Honest portrayal of young men's machismo.


References to rumble-type violence and street fighting.


A little bit of innuendo, one reference to prostitution.


A light sprinkling of four-letter words.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some references to underage drinking. Cover art glorifies cigarettes.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that there is some "wanna take it outside?" bad-boy posturing and there are references to drinking and fighting. The cover art features a man smoking.

What's the story?

Imagine references to Shakespeare combined with \"let's get drunk and take it outside\" bad-boy posturing, sung over imaginative punk-infused instrumental tracks? In fact, that's exactly what UK sensation the Arctic Monkeys delivers in spades on WHATEVER PEOPLE SAY I AM, THAT'S WHAT I'M NOT. The singing and playing on this CD are terrific and the production is excellent. But the real star is the songwriting: Edgy poetry about the real-life concerns of wild young men comes off as honest, unpretentious storytelling.\"No time for Montagues or Capulets/Just banging tunes and DJ sets,\" in \"Dancefloor\" is the track with a Shakespearean reference, but all the songs on this CD tell an evocative and visual story.

Is it any good?


The Arctic Monkeys deliver stunning performances -- and, ironically, it's the realism and flat-out honesty of these songs that may also raise some parental concerns. There are references to underage drinking and street fights, a de-romanticized portrait of prostitution, a sprinkling of four-letter words, and CD art that makes smoking look cool. Still, the songs are so well written and well performed that this is one album that's probably worth a little PC discomfort and family discussion. The music is just so darn good.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the wonderful songwriting. What makes these songs so visually evocative? Also, where do you draw the line between being honest and glamorizing bad behavior?

Music details

Artist:Arctic Monkeys
Release date:February 21, 2006
Genre:Indie Rock
Parental advisory:No
Edited version available:No

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Learning ratings

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  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 15 years old Written bykxaly May 31, 2014

Favorite Band of All Time!

I love this band so freaking much! They have a great sound and great lyrics. Common Sense doesn't have a review for their newest album 'AM'. So I thought I could do a quick one if you are a parent looking for info on the more recent one:) Arctic Monkey's new album AM is an excellent alternative/indie rock album. Their songs have a catchy beats and great edgy lyrics. Though, they are more of a band for teens and up. AM doesn't have any swearing in it (or so I haven't heard). My favorite songs in AM are 'Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High?', 'Knee Socks', and 'R U Mine?'. It all really is the parents decision on whether or not they could listen to this stuff. If they are 14 and over I would defiantly let them! 13 and under, I would just say to maybe listen to some of the songs and see if it's something worth considering. As I said this is one of their more appropriate albums. But if they are younger and allowed to listen to it they might get led to some of the other albums which are okay for 14 and up but inappropriate for 13 and under. In other albums there are swearing, mentions of sex, drinking, and smoking. I LOVE Arctic Monkeys and I defiantly give it 5 stars!
Adult Written bytheemeraldgolem/ August 1, 2015

It's your choice.

Yes this song talks dirty but its about if you like the tune. I like the tune so I made the choice to listen to it.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 14 years old Written byStoic-Demon August 5, 2014

Wonderful Band!

For parents who are concerned about this band, yes it does have mild language, but it's WAY more appropriate for teens. From what I heard on the radio (songs that are directly about sex and drugs) this is a much better for teens. I love this band, and it gives teens more of an edgy feeling rather than feeling they should have sex or do drugs in order to be "cool". I wouldn't suggest this to every young teen, maybe some teens who understand the lyrics more. From another viewpoint, 13 to 14 (mostly 14) year old teens are entering high school, so they are going to start exploring their mind and how they want to be seen in the real world. This band is way better than those bands (such as one-direction which targets young girls to make them feel like they should give into love at an early age) who target the younger crowd to get them focused on stupid things like drugs, drinking, smoking, and having sex. Watch what your kids are listening to. It may not seem like a big deal, but music is what we try to make ourselves to be. Has an even huge negative effect on younger teens who are still finding out who they are. This is a much better choice. Please, younger kids, do not give into the mainstream bands they have nowadays.
What other families should know
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


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