Julian Casablancas – Phrazes for the Young (Album Review)

Artist: Julian Casablancas
Title: Phrazes for the Young
Label: Rough Trade
Released: 30th October 2009

The Strokes’ front man drops disappointing solo debut.

Proceedings begin positively on Phrazes for the Young, with opening track Out Of The Blue resembling The Strokes on synths. However, the album soon descends in to a faux ‘80s electropop dirge, with Casablancas’ vocals buried deep below drum machines and overblown production. First single 11th Dimension, an approximation of Human League at their most uninspiring, lacks depth. Ludlow St, a Pogues-esque alcohol-fuelled lament, is passable, while the Muse-style vocal and faster tempo of River Of Brakelights amuse only for a verse or two.
First glance at the cover, with Casablancas in classic songwriter pose (see Bringing It All Back Home) hints at what might be found inside. Upon pressing play however, it is clear that this is not to be the case.
Those looking for The Strokes’ garage-rock guitar interplay, delivered with a nonchalant air of cool, will be sorely disappointed.

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