New Strokes album won’t disappoint old fans

Melissa Sewell and Erin Wynkoop

If I had my way, The Strokes would only be played at a deafening volume on sunny days with the car windows down. I can’t think of another daily event that warrants such a soundtrack. The band’s lyrics aren’t exactly cliché, but also aren’t the type to be pondered over a glass of wine.

Don’t get me wrong; Julian Casablancas has a sumptuous crooning voice that makes my tummy flip over and the backup is appreciably guitar-heavy. But “First Impressions of Earth” offers little more than the previous two albums, excepting a hefty dash of cynicism and the sensation that maybe The Strokes are getting tired of the music scene. The particularly repetitive song “Ask Me Anything” drones, “We could drag it out, but that’s for other bands to do/ I’ve got nothing to say.” Somewhere in the middle of the album, I forget that I am even listening to music until the later tracks rekindle my interest.

“First Impressions” is a slice more enjoyable than the sophomore “Room on Fire.” But while we’re comparing, “Is This It” easily trumps them both.

****By Erin Wynkoop

It has been over two years since the Strokes have released an album. When it comes to young rockers, the amount of time, drugs or the infamous rock star ego can either make or break a band. New York City’s alterna-indie rock royalty have once again amazed me with the follow up to their 2003 sophomore album “Room on Fire,” except this time around the Strokes sound a bit more, well, grown up.

Stylistically, the Strokes haven’t changed much. They still have those catchy guitar riffs that make you tap your Chuck Taylor-wearing feet, and lead singer Julian Casablancas still has no idea how to annunciate his lyrics. But after hearing the new album, I was once again a Strokes fan.

“First Impressions of Earth” was released just after the New Year and has proven to me that the Strokes are – knock on wood – here to stay. This album is different from the last two. The lyrics are honest and unpretentious, and with the length of this album, you actually get a CD that is worth that excess student loan money. Casablancas starts the album by crooning, “some people always think they’re right/others are quiet and uptight…20 ways to see the world/or 20 ways to start a fight.” In the first single from the album, “Juicebox,” Casablancas sings, “nobody can see me/everything’s too easy/standing in the light field…waiting for some actress/to say why won’t you come over here?” Sorry to burst any bubbles here, but he’s not talking about Juicy Juice in this album, if you know what I mean.

Another highlight of “First Impressions” includes the dreamy “The Ize of the World.”

With this third album, the Strokes have proven they are more than just some New York “garage” band.