Friday, April 10, 2009


First Impressions of Earth-
The Strokes
Label-RCA Records
Status-Out as of 2006
Rating-2 Feathers

With other legendary bands of this decade edging up to there third albums like Interpol or The Shins, The Strokes are no exception. After the release of their massive debut album (Is This It) and the ever successful ‘Room On Fire’, they have been known as one of the biggest and best New York City bands of this decade. However, keeping up to par with their legacy may prove impossible with their third release, First Impressions of Earth. ‘You Only Live Once’ starts out the album with a funkier groove than what they have previously offered. It has almost a summery vibe, and Julian’s vocals fit the song very well. It’s kind of a strange, yet great dive in. ‘Juicebox’ is possibly the heaviest song they’ve done so far. The weird breath vocal pattern sets the mood perfectly. I feel bad for Nikolai because the bass is the lead part (and makes the song), and it never lets up. ‘Heart in a Cage’ is pretty dark, and the lead guitar riff is flippin’ annoying. It’s just not that much of an ear-pleasing song. ‘Razorblade’ is a very positive sounding song that’s very, very catchy. The retro-beachy guitar sound and the part where he sings ‘Oh no, my feeling are more important than yours’ just set you in an awkwardly good mood. The only problem with the song is that he compares a razorblade to a girl. ‘On The Otherside’ has a decent groove to it, but it sounds not fully Strokes, which is mildly intriguing. The lyrics however just make him seem like a whine who’s tired of everyone/thing. That’s a turn off. ‘Vision of Division’ is really not a very good song. It seems like they never alerted Julian on how he was supposed to sing it because it seems like he’s just winging the whole thing. On the surface, ‘Ask Me Anything’ seems simple, almost too simple, but the constantly changing mellotron and the lower register vocals keep your ear through. The mellotron is really a great addition. ‘Electricityscape’ has a nice semi-airy tune. It could have been very easily used in a film trailer for the fact that it has a somewhat reflective quality. ‘Killing Lies’ is more pleasing than many of the other songs, but the bass is very annoying. It sounds like he’s playing in morse code. The vocals are an improvement, but the song just sorta comes and goes. ‘Fear of Sleep’ is also a pretty bad song. The backing instruments just sorta meld together as a wall of noice. The only decent part are the vocals, but not when he sings ‘fear of sleep’ because they sound very creepy. ‘15 Minutes’ has a nice tune, and he really pours into the vocals. It’s a very good song, but it’s not a classic. ‘Ize of The World’ is very grandiose and dramatic, in a bizarre way. The lyrics are pretty clever being that by ‘ize’ they mean it as the suffix. They use it to make odd social observations like ‘movie stars to idolize, leaders to scandalize’. ‘Evening Sun’ is very bland. Bland doesn’t even properly describe it. The vocals don’t even help; they are beyond a bore. The song needs a little something and the drum breakdown they threw in isn’t it. ‘Red Light’ is one of the more annoying ends to album I’ve heard. They failed at the guitar arpeggios and the general dissonance of everything really sends a searing pain through your head. The only thing you can cling onto is that it sounds a bit like ‘Room On Fire’. As you can see, this album was not what you’d expect. It’s not that is was out right terrible, it was just a huge bore and a let down. Boring doesn’t even explain. Except for about 3 songs, nothing really stands out and most of it just comes and goes. A generally portion too just sounds improvised on the spot, which really didn’t work to their benefit. They say third times a charm, but that blatantly doesn’t apply to The Strokes. This unfortunately leaves me question, is this it?
"A tour is the most intense, stimulating way to hear music; it's the best form to receive it. There's genuine excitement from people. I feel like we've stepped up a level."-Julian Casablancas

Video for Heart in a Cage

Recommendations: You Only Live Once, Juicebox, Razorblade
The Strokes Official Website
Note: I know, basically 3 Friday Things in a row. I am re-getting into reviewing and posting, so I really hope to exceed the last two months turn outs review wise. I finally finished with The Strokes, and I'm in the midst of reviewing The Kills and will do something like Spoon after. So please keep posted because I'll keep posting!

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