9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Musically and lyrically genius,
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.