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The Strokes: First Impressions Of Earth


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So has anyone picked this up yet? Impresions?

Listening to this now and it's mostly good stuff and most importantly, doesn't just sound like one long song like Is This It did.

I'll be giving this a few more listen's over the course of the week to see which tracks are the standouts on this album.

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Bought it yesterday and it's ace. Certain tracks are, as others have said "growers", one being Electrictyscape. It sounded merely great yesterday but today sounds awesome. Same with Ize of the World and Ask me Anything keeps on getting better, as do the last two tracks that, after 50-odd minutes you barely pay any attention to first listen through. Stand out tracks for me though are Heart in a Cage (they're next single), and Vision of Division, which sounds so much like Muse (as hinted in album previews - Muse, loving how "Strokes create songs you've known all your life", they'd do well to take notice of this track, and come Spring, I hope they have...)

Reviews have been scathing though. The Guardian being one*. Whereas every normal person (ie. not bitter journalist) who's actually listened to the album thinks it's ace. Comments such as "It’s just the songs stumble along, at their own pace, nonchantly ignoring progress or real excitement. “Juicebox”, as you already know, was a spectacular pratfall in their rush to add groove to those chiming guitars and Julian’s distinctive drawl. I would have exterminated those responsible for this travesty with my anti-gravity skewer before destroying half of humanity for this intolerance on the ears." (from artrocker) just don't make any sense. If Juicebox isn't exciting, what's James Blunt? Besides, the reviewer is trying to be clever with words, and it's only appropiate if you're reviewing an album that's genuinely poor, not blisteringly amazing. The Strokes haven't moved on, The Strokes haven't moved on, The Strokes haven't moved on, reviewers haven't moved on, reviewers haven't moved on, reviewers haven't moved on from using that same "excuse" to diminish the quality of their last two albums (mainly this one though...)

*"On Ask Me Anything, he finally gives in and 'fesses up: "I've got nothing to say," he wails on the chorus. You can applaud his honesty, but, coming as it does shortly after the couplet "Don't be a coconut, God is trying to talk to you", his confession seems supererogatory to say the least."

Well, considering Julian himself admitted it's more to do with him not giving his opinion of world events in the media spotlight simply because no one would care to listen to him (or rather, he said "do you think Coldplay will make Fair Trade fucking fair? To me, that's not real help" where the interviewer responded "so you want to be as big as U2 before you do?" only for him to reply "No, that's not what I meant, but yeah, sure". On the song, he sings "We could drag it out but that's for other bands to do".

Slant magazine weren't too kind either: "Gone is the acerbic tension that marked The Strokes as forefathers of the East Coast rock resurgence—in its place, a shrugging weariness that feels, on this third record, like the band stopped giving a shit three years ago."

Which, considering the Strokes themselves have admitted to "not wanting to waste any time" and "move on from the New York sound", "it'd be nice to be noticed", as well as "be a band in the history books" means with this album they've failed. According to reviewers.

I think it's ace though.

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it's great!

i'm not sure about vision of division, ask me anything or electricityscape yet, but the rest of it is ace. my current favourite track is red light- the guitar in which reminds me of 12:51 in it's NES game-like guitar sounds!

Have you guy's noticed that each page of the booklet has a little secret line on it, which seems to explain the song a little? For example-You only Live Once: With a hundred ways to do a dozen things, why not try it all?

By the way Discostu is right, Room on Fire was, contrary to popular belief, ace. Not a bad track on it!

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Elsewhere, I'm not enjoying Julian Casablancas' Alex Kapranos impression.

i really can't hear any trace of it myself. it's the usual Casablancas laid back drawl. a little more hoarse than before but not that much different. the only time he reminds me of someone else is 15 Minutes on which he sounds like Shane MacGowan.
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I'll have to give this a bit more of a go... but come now people, Room On Fire was a bloody brilliant album and you know it. It features The Strokes best ever song FFS.

Yeah, but also 10 of their worst. :(

I find the second album hard to listen to all the way through. The slow songs seem to jar with the immediate fast songs and it's just....difficult. The first song seems like a poor choice to me too. I do like it though. For Reptilia.

On the 2nd album, I'm not too keen on Between Love and Hate, Under Control and The Way it is.

Heart in a Cage or You Only Live Once or Ize of the World is Strokes' new best song anyway. :(

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It's the strokes trying not to be the strokes and failing. All the best moments are the ones that are most like is this it and room on fire. Juice Box is one of the worst songs, it exemplifies all that the strokes are bad at doing.

This is not to say it's a bad album, they tried to be a bit different but have been caught in a no man's land. Rather than be really different they've just extended their old style sacrificing what made it great.

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It's the strokes trying not to be the strokes and failing. All the best moments are the ones that are most like is this it and room on fire. Juice Box is one of the worst songs, it exemplifies all that the strokes are bad at doing.

This is not to say it's a bad album, they tried to be a bit different but have been caught in a no man's land. Rather than be really different they've just extended their old style sacrificing what made it great.

So you don't think You Only Live Once, Heart in a Cage, Ize of the World, Red Light (which is so much like 12:51) are great songs? Because I do.

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So you don't think You Only Live Once, Heart in a Cage, Ize of the World, Red Light (which is so much like 12:51) are great songs? Because I do.

Oh there are lots of good songs but just not quite as good. Not as many 3 second flashes of brilliance as the first two.

The album's strongest section is Razorblade - on the other side - vision of division.

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Funny review of the album here:

http://www.readmag.com/Reviews/sd_thestrokessucks.htm

The Strokes By First Impressions Of Earth: A Critical Analysis

by Maurice el Guapo

Music has changed a lot in the last few years. Gone are the days where it was boy bands and rap music everywhere. We have come into an age where all you ever here on the radio is ROCK. Why ROCK in capital letters? Because most of it rocks super hard with bands like The Darkness, My Chemical Romance and Green Day filling the airwaves with rock-filled rockitude.

But some bands try so hard to rock and fail miserably. One such case is the debut album by a band called First Impressions of Earth. Their newest album, The Strokes, is so unbelievably not rock-tastic that I was debating whether I should just do a joke review of this instead of telling you how much it sucks. But I decided to seriously analyze some of the biggest problems with it. To begin with, for some reason, First Impressions On Earth (hereafter referred to as FIOE, which incidentally is the Gaelic way of saying fire!), have a stupid ass name and their sound reflects their stupidity. All the songs sound the same and the singer dude, Juan Casablancas, sings like a pussy. Maybe he should just join fucking NSync if he wants to sing like that.

FIOE take their cue from a lot of the rocking bands today like The Killers, who are awesome and way more talented. And I heard that the Killers take a lot of their sound from older bands like The Vines and even The Televisions who apparently rocked really hard in the 1970s. But see, there's a huge problem with FIOE. The Strokes could totally be awesome if they had turned their amps to 11…instead they're at like 4.5. THAT IS NOT APPROPRIATE FOR ROCKING OUT!

I played this for the other guys in my fraternity while we chugged beer and discussed the merit of Family Guy, and they were all like 'turn off that pussy shit music' and 'get a fucking dick in your pants you pantyass motherfucker'. So I know that even if FIOE is popular, it's definitely not with the fraternities. I mean, The White Stripes are so much better anyways, since Meg White is hot.

Now it seems like on the album The Strokes, the band was going to talk about masturbation. Now one of my all time favourite bands is The Bloodhound Gang, so I was excited to hear not-so-subtle songs about jerking it. But there weren't any. I figured the song 'Juicebox' would be about shocking the monkey, but it wasn't! And I thought that '15 Minutes' would be about laying a girl for that long (which is better than I can do, I'll tell you that much), but it was all about being famous.

The biggest problem with The Strokes, besides the lack of rockicity and references to self gratificatoin, is that these dudes totally look like hoboes. They look like they haven't showered since the days of Reagan (*sigh* those were the days). Plus, having a name like First Impressions On Earth make them sound like a science fiction band. And there weren't even sci-fi effects on the album! It seems like they're totally short changing everyone by making crappy wuss music that only appeals to stupid yuppies and indie rock kids with no lives. And even they don't really like it. They just say so in order to sound cool in front of their friends.

Joke review.

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The reviews are suffering the "Be Here Now" effect.

Let me explain: Be Here Now from Oasis got ridiculously positive reviews. 5 stars from Q, for example. A fucking joke, it was an awful record, and a few months later everyone knew it. The reviews became legend. People had just got caught up in the hype. So what did the mags do? Overcorrect with their reviews for the subsequent album, which was better than BHN but got largely negative reviews (It was relatively shit but it wasn't Be Here Now shit!!).

And this is what's happening with First Impressions of Earth. Room on Fire was reviewed very well - 5 stars in Q, 5 stars in Uncut, 9 in NME - and it clearly wasn't worth it. Once again, everyone got sucked into the hype about a band, and once again we're now seeing the fruits of an overcorrection policy. It's probably in the reviewer's subconscious, they're probably not even aware they're doing it, but the primary thing I get from these reviews is a great big sense of, "Shit we're not going to make that mistake again."

Because this album is a country mile better than Room on Fire. Easily. It's worth 4 stars without a shadow of a doubt. Yet that isn't being reflected in the reviews. It's like when people are driving a car, start to spin out, and then overcorrect with the steering wheel leading to them fishtailing the other way.

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It's more of the good old 'build 'em up, knock 'em down syndrome'. Music journalists have Arctic Monkeys to rave over for the next year or so, so The Strokes need to be seen as inferior has-beens.

I mean, come on, they've been going for six years now, you can't expect critics to suck their cocks anymore. The same will happen with Franz Ferdinand's next album no matter how good it is, even though last year's 5-star-rated album was a disappointment and most certainly did suffer from 'Be Here Now' syndrome.

Only pay attention to critics if you want to know what will earn you the most kudos any given week.

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Room on Fire> First Impressions On Earth

Easily.

It's not even debatable to be honest.

yeah but you've already stated you don't like First Impressions, at all, so it's no surprise to hear you say that. of course you've got the benefit of hindsight with Room On Fire, and Impressions has only been out a few days.

my first impressions (no pun intended) is that it's a much more progressive record for The Strokes musically in terms of song structure and composition, melody, counter melody. there's some complex stuff going on in tracks like Vision Of Division and Ize Of The World. there appears to be much more depth too. Ask Me Anything reminds me of nothing more so than Penguin Cafe Orchestra. Juicebox is Sin City meets The Cramps. it's fucking fanstastic.

You Only Live Once is a classic oldschooll singalong Strokes tune and a great choice of album opener. Heart In A Cage is very much the sound of Strokes era now.

does anyone else think Razorblade sounds like Barry Manilow's Mandy ? (the chorus) :(

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i'm not really sure where you're coming from with your comments Discostu. it's not spacerock? ok, but it's certainly progressive in the way they mix fairly abrasive harmonies and in the structure of the songs themselves. no one else right now has written a song like Ask Me Anything.

it's easy to point at The Strokes and say Smiths, Television, Voidoids, Blondie but i've always found they had their own voice and are a little more tricky to pin down. i've never thought of them as a good time rock n roll band or 'retro' or any of those vague tags. they've always been more elusive, not least lyrically. i've always found weight to their music.

i don't undertstand where you're coming from, as a Strokes fan or someone who's never been impressed? for me it's no great departure in terms of what it sounds like. a bit darker for sure but there still more 'poppy' moments if that's what you're after. i'm not really sure what you were expecting from a Strokes record to, apparantly, appear so let down by it.

do you not like Heart In A Cage or the mighty Ize Of The World?

i've been listening to the album on and off, and this week pretty solidly, for about a month now, maybe longer and i'm still only starting to slot the pieces together. i remember the first e.p with Last Night et al on. i was still hearing new things in it months and months after listening.

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The new Strokes album is pretty damn awful.

I have NO idea why people like Juicebox, an awful song. On The Other Side is an absolute joke, like a kids song.

I put Is This It on recently, and the whole thing is fantastic. It's a classic.

I get the impression they put more tracks on this one because it's just not as good.

You Only Live Once is great though.

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Only listened to it about 3/4 times, but I am also of the opinion that at the moment the 1st half is good and the rest sortof blends together and is fairly forgettable. That song with the violins or whatever is absolutely minging as well.

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Having given it three listens I've come to the following conclusion:

The first half is great, up there with their best work. The second half is shit and a waste of time. I won't bother listening past the seventh track again, but I think the first half makes it worth getting.

In which case you'll miss the best song on the album; Ize of the World. Not to mention the fantastically catchy Red Light, or the brilliant Electricityscape.

But I know what you mean.

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