The Strokes: Julian Casablancas (vocals); Nick Valensi, Albert Hammond, Jr. (guitar); Nikolai Fraiture (bass instrument); Fabrizio Moretti (drums). With 2006's FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF EARTH, the Strokes have not only crafted an album that cracks the 36-minute mark, they've also opted for a bolder sound, courtesy of veteran producer David Kahne. While these changes don't mean a drastically different direction for the New York City-based rock band, they do indicate that frontman Julian Casablancas and the boys are in a more adventurous mode. EARTH's initial single, the driving, hard-edged "Juicebox," features Casablancas giving a raspy vocal performance that sounds more impassioned than anything on the group's previous outings, while "On the Other Side" is an almost breezy tune that has the singer recalling the plaintive delivery of Bono. Throughout the record, drummer Fab Moretti and bassist Nikolai Fraiture anchor the proceedings with unflappable rhythmic precision, allowing guitarists Albert Hammond, Jr., and Nick Valensi the freedom to lay down alternately searing and chiming six-string lines that add palpable verve to these 14 tunes. A band that has seen both over-the-top hype and its inevitable backlash, the Strokes seem eager to venture forward on FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF EARTH, an album that should not only quiet accusations of sonic sameness but win over new fans.
- Genre: Pop
- Format: Vinyl