Don't get me wrong. The United States is a great country. We have much to offer to the world. However, I am not arrogant enough to assume we do everything better than any one else. In light of this, I would like to point out just a few ways England is superior to the United States, besides the Beatles, Monty Python, accents, usage of the language and crime (especially murder by hand gun.
1. Beers America is known worldwide for are Budweiser and Miller Lite.
Beers England is known worldwide for are Bass Ale and New Castle.
2. During an election cycle American Presidents speak to pre-screened crowds of their supporters with pre-approved questions. In England the Prime Minister must sweat it out for hours speaking to possible voters that strongly disagree with his actions and confront him on it.
3. In America when theologians are on television it seems to be representatives of the extremes, in England it is N. T. Wright or Steve Chalke.
4. When American Kids listen to punk and decide they want to play pop music, they sound like Blink 182. When British kids listen to punk and decide they want to play pop music they sound like the Arctic Monkeys.
5. Fastest Selling debut album in America- Clay Aiken's Measure of a Man.
Fastest Selling debut album in England- Arctic Monkeys' Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not.
So, when Americans have a chance to run to the stores and buy an album by a debut artist, they spend their money on American Idols and Gangsta Rap, while the British buy albums by young punkish bands exuding attitude.
What is the big deal about the Arctic Monkeys and why should you pay attention to them? Are they the next Oasis or the next The Knack? Are they going to be as big as Coldplay?
The big deal is that this band barely out of their teens is writing songs that sound like they have been at it for years. The rhythm section is incredibly tight, although the song structure offers few surprises. The surprise comes when you hear the vocals. The singer's confidence betrays his relative youth. The lyrics are funny and insightful, whether making light of Duran Duran in the hit "I bet you look good on the Dancefloor" or expressing anger at the surroundings of a city that has seen better days. The songwriting and singing tell me this band will not be a flash in the pan and will not burn out like Oasis.
I predict a career with an Oasis like trajectory, but with less infighting and more consistency. Their music is too punk to be as huge as popsters like Coldplay.
Let me know what you think.