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Beyond The Mothership,
This review is from: Phrazes for the Young (Audio CD)
Mr Casablancas has been wise to embark on a solo
journey away from The Strokes mothership.
That which could not be realised within that
fine ensemble's boundaries is given vivid life
and energy in 'Phrazes For The Young'.
A relatively short but very sweet collection
of eight compositions is more than enough to
convince us of his prowess as a singer/songwriter of
substance. There's not a bad moment in evidence here.
Opening track 'Out Of The Blue' is pure post-punk
of the finest pedigree. The spirit of The Ramones
is alive and well and grinning from ear to ear on
this upbeat and buoyant piece of pop perfection.
'Left and Right In The Dark' sports yet another
infectious melody. Simple, naive and utterly addictive.
The catchy hook bristles with joyful self-confidence.
'11th Dimension' captures something of the essence
of 80's American electro brought bang up to date.
The chattering synths and reedy guitar lines are
perfectly integrated and convincing inventions.
The slow blues of '4 Chords Of The Apocalypse' suits
Mr Casablancas' laconic vocal style to a T.
It is a fine, understated performance of a
cannily constructed song. The chorus is a cracker!
'Ludlow St.' is an affectingly atmospheric compositon
who's ambiguous opening evolves into a strangely
deconstructed country ballad. The banjo solo is a hoot!
'River Of Brakelights' is a driving, cacophonous highlight.
The soaring vocal line rides the white wave of sound fearlessly.
A sonic surfer in full flight!
Things don't really get much better than 'Glass'.
The finest song on the album by a mile.
A genuinely uplifting musical experience.
Final track 'Tourist', with its warmly percussive brass
arrangement, provides a rich, kaleidoscopic ending to a
truly mesmerising and inspiring project.
A recording to make you feel good about being alive.