'First Impressions Of Earth' is, with the odd exception, very much Strokes business as...
Jaime Gill 2002-11-20
When The Strokes first emerged critics and public pounced on their debut as the start of a new rock golden age. The sequel, the underwhelming and repetitive Room On Fire, led many to realise they had over-estimated the New Yorkers.
If the brilliant lead single "Juicebox" seemed to indicate Julian Casablancas was broadening his musical horizons, it's misleading. First Impressions Of Earth is, with the odd exception, very much Strokes business as usual.
However, the opening three tracks show the band at their best. "You Only Live Once" is a brash and winning opener, sounding as vibrant as a lost Blondie classic.
Nick Valensi provides thrilling guitar work throughout. It's Casablancas singing and songwriting that let's the side down, and with fourteen songs he gives himself a lot of space to disappoint.
If this undeniably talented band are to repay that initial excitement, their fourth album is going to have to offer a great deal more consistency and invention than on display here.