Arctic Monkeys – ‘Fluorescent Adolescent’ track review

Arctic Monkeys

“You used to get it in your fishnets/Now you only get it in your nightdress"

Sometimes it’s hard to tell who the real Alex Turner is. Is he a rock star or is he a poet? Sure, he’s got the shabby sportswear, tousled haircut and the much-strummed guitar of a rock’n’roll legend, but he’s also got the sharp wit, the keen eye for observation, and the deadpan attitude shared by all great British wordsmiths.

Take, for example, the genius of ‘Fluorescent Adolescent’. Sure, it’s a bouncing, poppy number of the kind that will make everyone between the ages of four and 40 shake what their parents gave them while the others look on embarrassed, wishing they could join in, but it’s also sharper than a freshly stropped Stanley knife. Take a listen to the lyrics. I mean, it’s not like you could ignore them: “You used to get it in your fishnets/Now you only get it in your nightdress/Discarded all the naughty nights for niceness/Landed in a very common crisis”. It’s a bleedin’ northern kitchen-sink drama worthy of Shelagh Delaney or Alan Bennett.

With Alex as narrator we go through the tale of a poor couple who’ve lost all their previous fizz, and (quite literal) spunk. The pair’s former days of kinky sex have instead been swapped for nights in front of Desperate Housewives with a Domino’s pizza. Let’s hope for his sake that Alex isn’t talking about his own private life, eh? Anyway, that’s the evidence: Alex Turner, poet or rock star? Well, he’s bloody both, innee?