3 January 2013

3rd Jan - The Stroke's First Impressions of Earth

Artist – Album: The Strokes – First Impressions of Earth
Released:  3rd January 2006
Sounds Like: Billy Baldwin to Is This It’s Alec and Room On Fire’s Stephen

Had The Strokes began their nascent career with two slightly above average albums rather than the instant classic Is This Is It and the only moderately less brilliant Room On Fire, their unloved third album may have been received more warmly.

It certainly starts well, kicking off with the laid back cool of ‘You Only Live Once’ and following it by the hit single and red raw ‘Juicebox’. The rest of the album follows the example set by the former rather than the latter and that may have been part of the album’s downfall – listeners may well have wanted more of Julian Casablancas’ pained howling.

That’s not to say that the lyrics lack venom just because the delivery lacks bite. He’s still as vaguely (and pretty inexplicably) pissed off with everything as ever. And the album rocks in many places. It’s just that more often the words are sang not spat, and the music can at times be much softer. ‘Ask Me Anything’ actually brought to mind The Magnetic Fields. More than once I was reminded of the excellent Parisian band Phoenix. And maybe that’s what disappointed critics more than anything – where The Strokes once were the standard bearers, writing era-defining tunes, the band that everybody wanted to emulate; their third attempt sounds just a bit too much like everybody else.

Albumaday... rating:   7/10
  1. You Only Live Once – 3:09
  2. Juicebox – 3:17
  3. Heart in a Cage – 3:27
  4. Razorblade – 3:29
  5. On the Other Side – 4:38
  6. Vision of Division – 4:20
  7. Ask Me Anything – 3:12
  8. Electricityscape – 3:33
  9. Killing Lies – 3:50
  10. Fear of Sleep – 4:00
  11. 15 Minutes – 4:34
  12. Ize of the World – 4:29
  13. Evening Sun – 3:06
  14. Red Light – 3:11
    Listen to ‘Juicebox’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GoltwBHXCx8

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