The Strokes - First Impressions Of Earth

The top 5 single; ‘Juicebox’ features early and is indicative of the new bounce and defiance that The Strokes have garnered for this third album. ‘Heart In A Cage’ stands out first, for its more colourful (how many times have you seen that adjective used for The Strokes?) and laid back style.  Julian Casablancas’ almost effortless vocals are punctuated by looping guitars, to produce a reflective and pleading mood.

The laid back, bluesy feel continues into ‘Razor Blade’ that contains lyrics which could have come straight out of a Leonard Cohen scribble book. This New York gang have definitely moved away from the sharp and snappy numbers that were plastered on debut album; ‘Is This It’. They have honed in on drawing the listener into their mindset by relying upon instrumental variety that helps to cushion the pleading vocals, delivering more of a cohesive message than in past offerings.

The New Yorkers daringly dabble in the electro world this time around , passing almost into The Bravery territory with the floating ‘Electricityscape’, but they use just enough hounding 70s guitars to retain their integrity and no doubt; the respect of their hardcore fan-base. Husky soulfulness that has a smidgeon of Shane MacGowan to it becomes the latest notch to Casablancas’ vocal belt, by way of the bouncy ’15 Minutes’ and is propelled by a buoyant and rising accompaniment. The longer tracks help you to get properly into the mood of each song, something that new producer David Kahne, who has worked with Paul McCartney, will probably have influenced. This has helped The Stroke to pull off their sea change effectively, but also ensuring that they have not lost touch with their roots either.

David Adair

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