The Strokes First Impressions of Earth

[RCA; 2006]

Rating: 3.5/5

Styles: indie rock, garage punk
Others: The Stooges, Interpol

Well, here we are, the third Strokes album. Their sound is no longer "hott," and their stylish good looks will still get them pretty far, but definitely not as far as before. Though they may be taking a lot more criticism than before, I stand before you to proudly proclaim that I sort of, kind of, maybe just a little bit, think that First Impressions of Earth is sort of, kind of, maybe just a little bit, pretty good.

Well, enough feigning subjectivity; I'm going to give you an objective breakdown of the album's contents. Because I'm telling it to you like it is; you can go ahead and think of me as your own private Bill O' Reilly, or because of my wit, Larry the Cable Guy. So here you go:

1. Songs that are good, in a Strokesy way – "You Only Live Once," "Heart in a Cage," "On the Other Side," "Electricityscape," and "Ize of the World."

Did you like their last two albums? Good, then you will like these songs. It's basically their thing that they do, and in some cases better than before.
2. Songs that are good, but in a different way than before – "Juicebox," "15 Minutes," and "Ask Me Anything."

Okay, they are really not that different. "Juicebox" rocks harder than anything prior, but it is balanced by "Ask Me Anything," which rocks softer than anything prior. So, really, if you put them together they add up to two normal Strokes songs. "15 Minutes," then, has way more parts than a normal Strokes song, but none of them really sounds that out of the ordinary.
3. Songs that make you say "mmmehhh" – "Razorblade," "Killing Lies," "Evening Sun," and "Red Light."

Yes, this is much more filler than there should be.
4. Songs that are baffling – "Ize of the World" and "Vision of Division."

You're right, dear reader; this is the second time "Ize of the World" has shown up. You are very astute. This would certainly be my favorite song on the album, but there is just one ridiculously horrible moment where Julian tries to hit some high notes. It is simply painful. "Vision of Division," then, with its virtuoso Middle-Eastern breakdown, is just what this section suggests: baffling. I'm left with a host of questions – "Was that awesome?" "Was that totally out of place?" "Do they want to open for Fantômas?"
5. Song that I really don't like – "Fear of Sleep"

Why? Why can't this chord progression just be resolved? Instead we get what feels like hours of Julian yelling "All-a-lee!!" while those chords just change in a totally displeasing manner. It really bothers me.

Well, there you have it. I hope this has been thorough enough that you don't actually have to listen to the album. Though if you do feel it is necessary, keep in mind that there is indeed more good than bad. Unfortunately, there is also more bad than there should be.

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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