"First Impression of Earth" isn't quite out of this world

Jan. 18, 2006, midnight | By Eve Gleichman | 14 years, 12 months ago

The Strokes have "nothing to say"

Well, one thing is for sure. After their last two nearly identical releases, The Strokes needed a change-up, and they needed one badly. It's not that there was anything wrong with what their sound, but by the 2003 release of "Room on Fire," it was clear that the next album would need to be more innovative and distinguished if these guys wanted to keep their fans close.

After listening to "Juicebox," the preliminary release of their most recent album, "First Impressions of Earth," there was reason to worry about what was to come. The song sounds like a garage-band cover of a song that ought to have been cut from an earlier album. And unfortunately, the next 12 tracks were just more of the same.

Sure the sound is different, and I don't doubt these boys tried hard to achieve something new. But in their seemingly rushed endeavor, they have created an album which seems to have a full blown case of ADD.

Photo: The Strokes' recent release, "First Impressions of Earth," disappoints.

The album starts out with "You Only Live Once," the only cut on the CD that could pass as a potential single. But from here on, it's downhill, and songs are plagued with whiny lyrics, dull hooks and total disorganization.

Songs like "Killing Lies" and "Razorblade" will keep you wondering if the track has even changed, while "On the Other Side" will put you to sleep faster than you can get through the tedious lyrics, "I'm tired of everyone I know/Of everyone I see/On the street/and on TV."

Front-man/lyricist Julian Casablancas hits the nail on the head with "Ask Me Anything," a painful song that brings to mind Kip's melodic vow to LaFawnduh in "Napoleon Dynamite." Casablancas whines, "I've got nothing to say/I've got nothing to say/I've got nothing to say/I've got nothing to say/I've got nothing to say/I've got nothing to say/I've got nothing to say/I'm in utter dismay/I've got nothing to say." But we didn't need it to come from him to figure out that the Strokes have run dry this year.

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