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Album Review
The Strokes - First Impressions Of Earth Album Cover

The Strokes - First Impressions Of Earth

Reviewed by
8.8
This review was written by an AP.net staff member.
The Strokes- First Impressions Of Earth
Release Date: January 3, 2006
Record Label: RCA Records

In 2001, The Strokes released “Is This It?”, an album full of cocky, slurred come-ons and riffs played at break-neck speed. Many critics crowned them the “saviors of rock and roll” and The Strokes became the new kings of NYC. Then in 2003, they released “Room On Fire,” which was a good album, expect that it sounded just like their previous effort and was viewed as a disappointment. So, one can expect that fans will be very cautious with their third album, titled “First Impressions Of Earth.” Well let me be the first to say that if you loved the debut, then you’re going to enjoy the new album very much. The Strokes (consisting of vocalist Julian Casablancas, guitarists Nick Valensi and Albert Hammond Jr., bassist Nikolai Fraiture, and Fabrizio Moretti on drums) get dirty on this album by adding a little more of a “punk” spark to the album, thanks to producer David Kahne, who has worked with Sublime and Sugar Ray in the past. “First Impressions Of Earth” is a 14-track punch in the face, with Casablancas unique vocals controlling the action and the impressive yet sometimes sloppy guitar work from Valensi and Hammond controlling the pace. The sloppiness and slurred words are all part of the Strokes appeal. It doesn’t take away anything from the record; it just gives this record even more of a badass attitude.

At 52 minutes long—which is almost twice as long as their last album—“First Impressions” balances out the classic Strokes sound and the more thrash-like sound very well. The album kicks off with simple riff woven with rickety drumming and Casablancas casually crooning over the verses. A laid back track, Casablancas rises with each chorus. Then “Juicebox” jumps in and knocks the wind out of you. With a smooth riff and crashing cymbals, Casablancas’ vocals groove throughout the verses, only to turn into a raspy scream of a chorus. The song ends with Jules shouting, “You’re so cold!”, which is the definite highlight of this track. “Heart In A Cage” begins with a menacing riff and pounding drums, leading into the vocals that take control of this song. This track thrashes throughout and makes you wonder where the mosh pit is. “Razorblade” brings back that old Strokes sound. It features cold-as-ice guitar work and an amusingly spiteful chorus (“My feelings are more important than yours”). “On The Other Side” has a great dance vibe to it thanks to the rhythm section of Moretti and Fraiture. “Vision Of Division” is one of my favorite tracks because it’s fast and in your face. The guitars and drums collide in the beginning resulting in chill verses and intense choruses, and Jules’ vocals dominate the track. “Electricityscape” is another fast song that highlights the fantastic musicianship of the Strokes. This track is as chill as the Manhattan nighttime. “Fear Of Sleep” is a pounding track, while “Evening Sun” is slower-paced song with Casablancas swooning throughout. “Ize Of The World” is peppy track showcasing the talents of Valensi and Hammond once again. Casablancas’ voice trades between a bass and tenor throughout as the song builds, resulting in him pouring everything out vocally. “Red Light” closes out the track with interesting guitar riffs and a simple beat. It may also be showing the Strokes inevitable recognition that this just may be as good as it gets (“Can’t you see the sky is not the limit no more?”). Lyrically, Casablancas is back with more swagger than ever before as I believe this is his best collection of lyrics yet.

This time around, the Strokes destroy their old formula of songwriting and create an album different from the previous two. The cockiness is back lyrically and musically, as their disenchantment sounds more personal. The kings of New York have released the first great album of 2006, and it won’t be forgotten at the end of the year like Bright Eyes was forgotten about in 2005. Sure, the Strokes may never become the saviors the rock and roll, but they do it better than most bands making music today. Make sure to pick up this album on January 3rd; it’ll leave a lasting “Impression” on you.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 25
08:18 PM on 01/02/06
#2
IcedOpethBlind
105 OVR, 99 PMV, 98 BSHD, 97 TCKL
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noice. think i'll be picking this up.
08:44 PM on 01/02/06
#3
deja andyroo
Rock Juice
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Room on Fire is my personal fave, but I've listened to this five or six times and I enjoy it. Will be picking it up tomorrow... anybody know what's in the limited edition? It's three dollars more at Best Buy, but I can't find any information on it. If it's just enhanced packaging, I'll pass. A bonus CD/DVD would be worth my three bones, though.
08:59 PM on 01/02/06
#4
SingleDoubt
Strangers on this road we are on...
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wish i had some $, i'd probably think about maybe picking this up. maybe this weekend.
09:00 PM on 01/02/06
#5
thesego211
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i am so pumped for this. this is a great band, very original. anyone who plays guitar respects the hell out of this band.
09:07 PM on 01/02/06
#6
kara5419
the haves...have not...a clue.
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stoked.
09:16 PM on 01/02/06
#7
thewk
Bringing It All Back Home
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it's an all right album. i'll give it like a 6/7.
i dunno i'm not really too interested in modern rock anymore.
but i have liked these guys since their debut.
09:29 PM on 01/02/06
#8
deecee85
Oh yessss
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How much did RCA pay you to give this a good review?
09:43 PM on 01/02/06
#9
Drew Beringer
Senior Editor - @drewberinger - Locked Groove
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Originally Posted by deecee85
How much did RCA pay you to give this a good review?

Nothing. It's a great album.
10:49 PM on 01/02/06
Lost Glories
..
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Originally Posted by deecee85
How much did RCA pay you to give this a good review?
hah....no
11:22 PM on 01/02/06
fullerm
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Originally Posted by deecee85
How much did RCA pay you to give this a good review?

chill bro. why dont you go suck down some more talent-less indie. i would consider the strokes the only real rock n roll band that has come out since 1979. every band today is way to egotistical and doesnt party nearly as hard as the strokes do. the strokes are real rock n roll. nothing can compare to them today.
11:47 PM on 01/02/06
JunkBondTrader
Judas seems sincere...
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Originally Posted by deecee85
How much did RCA pay you to give this a good review?
youre a jackass. the strokes are fucking increbile, and so is this album, along with all of their releases. I also suggest dling the B-side Hawaii seeing as it kicks major ass. Ill be picking this up tomorrow even though ive had it for over a month now. Great fucking album... Julian Casablancas is my fucking hero, such a badass.
11:54 PM on 01/02/06
Drew Beringer
Senior Editor - @drewberinger - Locked Groove
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Originally Posted by JunkBondTrader
youre a jackass. the strokes are fucking increbile, and so is this album, along with all of their releases. I also suggest dling the B-side Hawaii seeing as it kicks major ass. Ill be picking this up tomorrow even though ive had it for over a month now. Great fucking album... Julian Casablancas is my fucking hero, such a badass.

Hah, I was waiting for you to comment. :thumbsup:
12:22 AM on 01/03/06
smogs
Suit Up
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sweet, i'll be picking it up for sure.
06:07 AM on 01/03/06
spansen
and then what happens?
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i really like their new track, which is odd.. because before i've only liked a couple songs by them.

i'm probably going to pick this up today

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