musica

Critical Phraze

So ex-Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas has a new album Phrazes for the Young coming out and people are PSYCHED. My first glimpse of the new Julian in action was through a YouTube clip of his current tour, which featured the singer doing an awkward mom-dance bebop shuffle while singing one of his new tracks. I would gladly display if his record label hadn’t yanked it down. Instead, this:

julian

Sooooo artsy.

The first leaked track is called 11th Dimension and upon first listen – pardon the crassness –¬†all I thought was ‘Wow. Ghey.’

I think my friend Phoebe summed it up best when she exclaimed, “What’s going ON, first YYYs, now J.C!?'” I too thought it bizarre and pretty disappointing that a musician so instrumental in creating an ‘original’ sound and scene back in early 2000s would rely on that ubiquitous 80s-electro-synth Get Into the Groove-thing so many others have turned to.¬†Maybe this would have been cool over a year ago but now it seems a bit lame.

>>>>TIME LAPSE <<<<

So blah blah blah I rattle off this whole criticism above, get distracted, and don’t pick up on this post till almost 4 days later. ¬†I’ve now listened to the song on repeat, at work, during my commute and while getting ready to go out on Friday night. This one’s a creeper.¬†And I’m a little addicted. So go figure.

That all said, take a listen and see what you think. For me it’s all about the cadence of his lines…he places emphasis on words you would never think to emphasize and extends shorter phrases to match length of longer ones. Ok yeah that’s what ‘singing’ is I guess and it’s hard to articulate the effect, but I love it. Sorry for doubting you JC and congrats for making me feel like a cynical, hypocritical ass. I’m sure I’ll rip on the next single and then make it my wedding song or something.

Julian Casablancas Р11th Dimension [mp3]

For an extra treat let’s look back and judge what those other Strokes members have been getting into since the band’s hiatus.

Fabrizio Moretti taught us all how awesome life is when you have gobs of money, live in Southern California and spend your days recording breezy, boss nova-y beach tunes with your friends.
Little Joy –¬†For One’s Better Sake [mp3]

Albert Hammond Jr. showed us how lackluster the ‘Strokes’ sound can be with only 1 Stroke.
AJH Jr. ¬†–¬†Everyone Gets a Star [mp3]

Nicolai Fraiture sung to us about drinkin’ and bein’ dark! Initial thought: This is what a tone-deaf Bob Dylan karaoke cover of “Hurricane” would sound like.
Nickel Eye –¬†Back From Exile¬†[mp3]

It’s interesting that you can listen to these other albums and still hear that cohesive Strokes sound bubbling beneath the surface. I think I’m ready for a reunion.

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