5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Please ignore the critics, 6 Jan 2007
Having been a massive fan of The Strokes' first two albums I decided, at first, not to purchase this album after the comparative slating it received from critics. Having recently purchased First Impressions of Earth, I can understand the bad press but cannot in any way empathise with it. Tempted back to the Strokes after a year in the wilderness I discovered a third album mixed with a subtle intensity that for the greater part of the album is a joy to listen to.
The first four songs of the album: You only live once, Juicebox, Heart in a cage, and Razorblade are one of the best opening four songs on an album I have ever listened to. The usual flawless guitar work is enhanced by an element that could only by glimpsed at in the first two albums - a rawer, more desperately emotional element. Even Casablancas' voice seems rustier and wonderfully less controlled.
The next two songs: On the other side and Vision of division are both more than acceptable fillers. Unfortunately the middle of the album then sags under its own weight (considerably larger at 14 songs and 55 minutes than the previous two albums). The following five songs are as insipid as they are uninventive and the less said about them the better. However, please note these songs are by know means dire and are perfectly easy to listen to, they are merely very skippable!
The final three songs on the album are majestic and more than make up for the previous five. They include the sensational Ize of the world, not only politically astute in its lyrics but harmonically fascinating - building up to a climax it never reaches as the word "vaporise" is cut short as the song itself evaporates. Evening sun and Red Light are respectively warm and exhilarating.
Given the gaping hole that is present in the middle of the album you might wonder why I have given this album five stars. The reason is simple. This is an album of three thirds and the first and third thirds are worth about five stars each (if that makes any sense!).