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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ignore the critics, make up your own mind
As I'm typing, it's early in the morning, so in the UK the new Strokes album has officially been released. Already, I've seen critics dismiss this album as "average" and many have claimed The Strokes have put very little effort into the album and they're just not bothered anymore. I've had a copy of the album for around a month now and I'm...
Published on 2 Jan 2006 by Tom

versus
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Different Strokes for different folks
The Strokes were a breath of fresh air when they first burst on the scene - all New York cool and reto before every new band had to be a late 70s/early 80s throwback. The first two albums (I give my age away by using that term!)were great examples of economy in song structures and length. I hate to say it, but I have sat through 'First Impressions' a number of...
Published on 17 Feb 2006 by D. Moseley


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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ignore the critics, make up your own mind, 2 Jan 2006
This review is from: First Impressions Of Earth (Audio CD)
As I'm typing, it's early in the morning, so in the UK the new Strokes album has officially been released. Already, I've seen critics dismiss this album as "average" and many have claimed The Strokes have put very little effort into the album and they're just not bothered anymore. I've had a copy of the album for around a month now and I'm going to share my opinion of the album, this review is coming from someone who has had the time to fully analyze the album, not from some small time music journalist who has given it a quick listen and dismissed it as "rubbish". One thing many Strokes fans will notice right from the very first track is there's no longer any use of distortion on the vocals.
Anyway, this album took 9 months in the studio with a new producer, David Kahne, which has helped them take a side-step in sound, whilst retaining their classic sound. The album is a big change in style, but you can still recognize the good ol' Strokes.
The first song on the album 'You Only Live Once' is probably the best intro track they could have chosen. It is one of the most catchy tracks on FIOE with its memorable riff and bouncy vocals. 4.5/5
Juicebox, the first single from FIOE is in my opinion, one of the "worst" tracks on the album. I'm not saying it's a bad song, in fact, I love it but, there are many more suitable potential singles on the album which would have been more suitable for commercial radio. I'm sure you've all heard this song and can make up your own minds on what you think of it. 4/5
Heart In A Cage, their second single and also one of the heaviests songs on the album. In my opinion, this is a great song and sounds like a vintage Strokes track, as it is recycled from ROF. 5/5
Razorblade, infamous for "ripping off" the catch from Barry Mannilow's 'Mandy'. 'Tis a brilliant song, with a catchy 12:51 esque keyboard riff. 4/5
Vision of Division is absolute genius. A great riff with a Mid-Eastern SOAD influenced guitar solo half-way through. After reading the title and the lyrics booklet, I actually realized that this song is a conversation, which explains why Julian tends to repeat verses. One of the strongest tracks on the album. 5/5
Ask me anything, is shrouded in controversy and it's unlike anything The Strokes have ever done. Many people believe this track should be nothing more than a B-side, however, I think it's great. Albert plays a melatron, along to Julian's cool vocals and guess what? There aren't any guitars or drums!!! 4/5
Electricityscape borrows a similar sound from Vision of Division and also sounds very Middle-Eastern. Another one of the heavier tracks. 4.5/5
15 minutes, is a wonderful track, but like "On The Other Side" it's a grower and the track is relatively weak throughout the first couple of minutes and only gets to full strength towards the end of the song, which is dissapointing, as I feel this track could have been a standout if it weren't for the boring intro.
Ize of the world has a fabulous ending which causes many people to question whether their disc has a fault or not. No, don't worry, there's nothing wrong with your disc at all. Opens with some random guitar noises and is relatively heavy throughout. The lyrics in this song are amazing and also, there is a solo half-way through that sounds like an ice cream van! How cool is that?
Evening Sun feels a bit strange following such a heavy track, but is still a great song, takes a few listens to get into, but it's now one of my faves. 4.5/5
Red Light is one of the best tracks on the album and is a great way to end such a fantastic record. 5/5
So, there you go. That's just what I think of the album, I wasn't very descriptive with my review but I didn't want to spoil too much. All I can say is that this album is just as good as Is This It and Room On Fire, if not better. Also, this album is roughly an hour long. The special edition of the album comes in nice carboard packaging with an interchangeable sleeve which allows you to put a pic of one of the band members on the cover, which is a good enough reason to buy the album if you ask me!
If you don't like what you've heard about this album but you've enjoyed The Strokes previous work, please give this album a chance. Thank you for reading my review and I hope you have found it helpful.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece, 14 Mar 2006
By A Customer
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: First Impressions Of Earth (Audio CD)
With their first album (Is This It), the Strokes showed that they could produce an album of amazingly concise and brilliant 3-minute rock tracks.
While that was an amazing achievement, I felt that with their second album (Room on Fire) they showed that there was more to them, with Julian Casablancas developing a more melodic, rambling sound that showed that they wanted to develop beyond what had gone before. I never understood the negative comments about the album, for me it was more complex and more of a grower than the first one - after about 10 listens I suddenly 'got it' and was bowled over. It is now probably the album that I have listened to more times than any other in my collection.
With this third album, Casablancas et al show that they have the confidence to ignore the people that are complaining that they don't 'get it' within 2 minutes, and develop yet further. As on the previous album, I found that the singles were not my favourite tracks at all, a couple of my favourites being 'You Only Live Once' and 'Killing Lies' - I am just bowled over by the amazing vocal talent on the album that just oozes confidence. I also love the rambling style of bizarre musings - for example in 'On the Other Side' when Jules just goes off on a long and carefully measured rant about how he is tired of everyone he knows and 'hates them all'!
All in all, this is a masterpiece - listen to it 10 times before you make a decision!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mind Blowing Third Album, 2 Jan 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: First Impressions Of Earth (Audio CD)
The wait for this album since room on fire has definatly been worth it. Unlike is this it and room on fire the running time is 52 minutes, thats like the old 2 albums put together. On first listen a few of the tracks stood out. Everyone will love track1, its pure strokes brilliance. Everyone knows Juicebox, its awesome in my opinion, completely different from the strokes old material. And I think that sums up a lot of this album, they've tried a lot of new things and its payed off superbly.
Since i've listened to the album a good few more times, i'm addicted, just like I was with is this it and room on fire. And i'm sure you will be too, buy it! And hey the delux album version is very cool, you get all the lyrics and a chioce of 6 covers for your album, put your favorite band member on there! Enjoy
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Musically and lyrically genius, 13 Jan 2006
By 
S. Owadally "treble1999" (Cardiff, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: First Impressions Of Earth (Audio CD)
For some bizarre reason, critics have not taken "First Impressions..." to their hearts. I don't have the first clue why. And there are 14 songs which provide 14 reasons why this album proves The Strokes are living legends.
The main thing that has struck me about reviews is the criticism that Julian Casablancas' songwriting has taken. I have read that his lyrics are "meaningless", "incoherent" and "not understandable". Well, this is utter rubbish. Lyrically, this album proves that Casablancas is truly in the highest echelon of wordsmith geniuses. If one song had to be picked out to prove this, it is certainly "Ize of the World". A genius link between title and lyrics, this not only provides wonderfully inspirational vocals from Casablancas, but (as much as NME writers and readers would say The Strokes are too cool to do politics) also has political undertones inherent throughout the album, proving that The Strokes have taken up some responsibility as artists since their "Is This It?" days. This song has to be heard to be truly believed. Each word is filled with meaning and delivered with passion and is Casablancas' bitter tirade against the sickness of the modern world. A truly incredible, inspirational song. Further political undertones and disenchantment with the modern world can also be found in "Ask Me Anything" in a line which a well-known magazine unbelievably dismissed as having no meaning ("Harmless children, we named our soldiers after you"). Also, Red Light expresses the disgust at, "...an enitre generation that has nothing to say".
The genius lyrics aside, this is an incredible gift to the world in musical terms. The songs sound emphatic, well-worked and well-thought. To the well-listened ear, the guitar work is simply sublime on songs such as "Heart In A Cage" and "Visions of Divison" to name but two. The way that Albert Hammond Jr.'s sweet, almost bluesey guitars work side-by-side with the incredible rock and roll effects of Nick Valensi's now massive guitar sounds provides The Strokes with something truly unique.
"Ask Me Anything" sees Casablancas and Valensi their most inventive and creative peak. The deliverence of the heartfelt lyrics alongside the melotron sound is obviously a first for them. But it works beautifully.
In "15 Minutes", Julian's best impression of Shane McGowan gives way to exquisitely pacey guitars to create another showing the Strokes have come a long way since "Room on Fire".
If there is a weak point, it is probably "Razorblade", however this is still a very catchy song, despite it's continuous, and justified, link to Barry Manilow's "Mandy"!
Picking on each song is not worth the effort though. This is an album. Ignore the critics and buy this album and judge for yourself. To anyone with any interest in creative, artistic music, this album is absolutely incredible. "Ize of the World", for me personally, could quite simply become one of the very greatest songs ever. For anyone with a disgusted hatred for the things that sting the modern world, this song provides comfort in the fact that a true musical genius is on your side too.
With any sort of justice, this will become a classic. A cultural, musical and artistic masterpiece.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Louche, laid-back and casual beyond belief, 5 July 2006
This review is from: First Impressions Of Earth (Audio CD)
During several songs Julian Casablancas sounds as if he just walked into the studio straight from a heavy session in a bar and laid down the vocals with such arrogance they demand to be heard. I'm reminded of The Pogues on some of these tracks. At least they can now be heard as the vocals were never much of a concern on the earlier two albums; he has a sharper focus now, even though the result sounds casual. Some commentators have called this a departure from their earlier efforts, but I find it more of a continuation. If you like the beautiful guitar music The Strokes have always produced then this will not disappoint; it is a classic in this genre.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More Or Less, 30 Mar 2008
By 
A. Walker "Andy Walker" (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: First Impressions Of Earth (Audio CD)
The first two Strokes albums exhibited a conciseness not heard since the Pixies: both featured tightly arranged songs and a quality control rare in modern popular music. This immaculate economy begins to unravel on 'First Impressions Of Earth' which is three tracks and twenty minutes longer than either of their previous albums. Four songs in and the tight arrangements are clearly in evidence. But 'On The Other Side' sees the group's mastery of arrangement beginning to lose its grip. The song goes on too long and the relentlesness is apparent at the point when Casablancas sings "I'm tired of being...". There are more of these lesser songs clogging up the middle of the album. 'Vision Of Division' is not as exciting as it thinks; 'Ask Me Anything' eschews the guitars but the song simply isn't up to scratch; 'Electricityscape' sounds like FM radio at drive-time; 'Fear Of Sleep' sounds like a U2 out-take. Though these songs are fine, they are simply not up to the high standard of songwriting so fully realised on their earlier records. Fortunately, the highlights are still to come. 'Killing Lies' has a heart-breaking melody, while '15 Minutes' is a reasonable impression of The Pogues, despite some unfinished-sounding lyrics. 'Ize Of The World' is interesting for suddenly cutting out (causing apoplexy in illegal downloaders). It's as if the group failed to tighten the arrangement and the producer had a rule on how long the song should be. This track gives way to the sublime 'Evening Sun', one of their most beautiful compositions, and the album closes with another highlight, 'Red Light'.

All in all, five of the songs could well have been outed (Lord knows they could do with more real b-sides) while 'Hawaii', the only flip-side from the period, should have been included. With a couple more of the songs tightened up the album could've been another masterpiece. There is a similar amount of content as that found on the first two records but this content is diluted with songs of a lower standard. And surely The Strokes music is too high-energy for such a long album anyway. But this high volume of more varied songs may well be a more accurate impression of the greatest band of the decade. More or less.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, But needs perseverence., 5 Feb 2006
This review is from: First Impressions Of Earth (Audio CD)
To begin with, I was the opposite of the critics - 'Is This it?' was hailed as a masterpiece, and the follow up 'Room On Fire'was accused of being too 'samey'. I got room on fire first, and loved it, but when I got is this it, I was majorly dissapointed. When I heard this was being released, I was apprehensive. I had heard 'Juicebox' and was still undecided. However, I bought it nonetheless on the day it came out, and was instantly blown away by You Only Live Once. After this however, The album petered out, and again I was dissapointed.
I managed to get tickets to see the Strokes live in Manchester, and so before I went I routed out the two older albums and familiarised myself with the songs on them. Is This It grew on me, and I absolutly love it - the same for room on fire. First Impressions has done the same. It has a noticable, if yet difficult to place, difference to the other two albums, and that is why I was so unsure to begin with. However, after my second full listen, I loved it. You Only Live Once and Heart In A Cage particularly stand out.
It is a fantastic album, but has to be listened to more than once to be fully appreciated.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Prehistoric? I doubt it., 1 Feb 2006
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This review is from: First Impressions Of Earth (Audio CD)
I read one review that said that this album had finally indicated that The Strokes' time was over. With the release of the Arctic Monkeys' debut, there was a new kid on the block, and The Strokes were now "dinosaurs".
I do hope the writer has (now he has had time to consider this) changed his mind. On first listening to this C.D. I must admit, I shared the view that it was not as great as anything else they had produced. But with typical Strokes style, this is a grower. I didn't even try too hard to like it. It just creeps up on you.
When you get tired of the hype surrounding the "New" sound of the Monkeys, revel in the delight of rediscovering the old masters.
The Strokes are back, and though it is not the same as "Is this it?", it is a more developed, more rounded, and more considered piece of work. Definitely heading in the right direction.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Still lovin' em, 31 Jan 2006
This review is from: First Impressions Of Earth (Audio CD)
I've bought a load of cd's in the past few months and nothing apart from Hot Hot Heat comes close to the Strokes. Were you one of them punters who doubted they'd deliver? To shame... Well its proven now. Julian and boys still have it in them. I even forgive them the fact that one of the tunes seems to borrow the chorus from barry manilow's Mandy. and another one that does the same with iggy pops Passenger. But hey, who cares. Maybe its not the most original piece of music, but they are still kings of cool. and hopefully, this ain't IT.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Yep its great, 19 Dec 2005
This review is from: First Impressions Of Earth (Audio CD)
Ive not really done this the right way round, this was the first strokes album i listened too properly. Its great! the first track is fantastic and juicebox is great even though it takes a while to get used to, and ask me anything makes interesting listening alongside the usual strokes sound. The rest of the tracks are equally great including the magnificant electriccityscape. After hearing this i went out and bought the other two albums, such is the strength of this album. I didnt buy the first album so cant appreciate its importance so therefore cannot fully appreciate the album but I still think first impressions is slicker, tuneful and better! Only reason it doesnt get a 5 is the fact that the end of the album is not quite as good as the start! all round extremly good!
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