First Impressions of Earth

First Impressions of Earth

by The StrokesThe Strokes

CD

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Overview

Having spent the better part of their career thus far playing it cool, New York's favorite hipster sons set out, on their third album, to show that they can also heat things up. And doggone it if they don't prove to have quite a flair for starting up a fire. The new attitude is put forth most forcefully on "Juicebox," which makes judicious use of a punked-up "Peter Gunn" guitar riff but just as significantly places Julian Casablancas' vocals -- sans distortion, no less -- front and center. Casablancas is the focal point on several tunes, from the glammed-up "Red Light" to the purposefully overreaching ballad "Razorblade" (which borrows a trick or two from the Barry Manilow songbook), and his newly unfuzzed vocals contribute significantly to First Impressions' impact. Some credit also has to go to producer David Kahne (Bangles, Paul McCartney), who opens up the quintet's palette to include Blondie-like new wave cool ("You Only Live Once") and crisp guitarscapes that stop just short of neo-prog ("Heart in a Cage"). Yes, the Strokes are still wrapped up in postmodernism to a degree that sometimes prompts eye-rolling -- "15 Minutes," for example, takes its Warholian self-awareness to the level of self-pity. But overall, First Impressions of Earth shows enough progress (and enough teeth) to cast considerable doubt on that song's central hook, in which Casablancas sings, "Today they'll talk about us and tomorrow they won't care." Look for tongues to wag in Strokes-ville for plenty of tomorrows to come.

Product Details

Release Date: 01/03/2006
Label: Rca
UPC: 0828767317724
catalogNumber: 73177
Rank: 7050

Tracks

  1. You Only Live Once
  2. Juicebox
  3. Heart in a Cage
  4. Razorblade
  5. On the Other Side
  6. Vision of Division
  7. Ask Me Anything
  8. Electricityscape
  9. Killing Lies
  10. Fear of Sleep
  11. 15 Minutes
  12. Ize of the World
  13. Evening Sun
  14. Red Light

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