7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
No 'Is This It' - but still an excellent album,
This review is from: First Impressions Of Earth (Audio CD)
It's difficult to know how to interpret the critical reception this album has recieved. Looking at the general consensus, I am taken quite aback at just how savage some of the reviews have been - it would seem the critics have got caught up in the Strokes bashing that is as fashionable these days as the Strokes themselves were when they first exploded onto the music scene. On the other hand, you could argue the Strokes have made a rod for their own back with their classic debut. If they could make an album that great first time out, why can't they do so again?
Having said that I think it's simply unfair to compare everything the Strokes do from now on to their universally acclaimed debut. In dissing 'First Impressions of Earth', its detractors have undervalued it, plain and simple. This album contans some of the finest material the band have produced to date, mostly in the first half of the album. It opens with an inspired triple opening salvo, where the cool swagger of 'You Only Live Once' and moody shuffle of 'Heart In A Cage' actually manage to trump the brilliant 'Juicebox'. And the lads hit upon a similar winning streak midway through with the storming 'Vision of Division', lovely 'Ask Me Anything' and euphoric 'Electricityscape'.
Admittedly they struggle to maintain the momentum in the latter stages: the likes of 'Killing Lies' and 'Evening Sun' are little more than pointless filler. But there's still some good stuff to maintain listener interest, most notably on the Killers-esque 'Ize of the World' and deliriously poppy album closer 'Red Light'.
In conclusion, then, 'First Impressions of Earth' isn't as good as 'Is This It'. But make no mistake - had an album of similar quality been released by, say, Franz Ferdinand (whose two albums to date consist of about three good songs each) then it would have been greeted with five star adulation across the board. For that reason alone, 'First Impressions...' is definitely worth checking out.