It’s been three years since The Strokes came out with First Impressions of Earth in 2006 and with the next album’s drop impending within a few months, Julian Casablancas the voice of the band has released a solo album entitled PHRAZES FOR THE YOUNG. This is not the only side project that has sprung from the members of The Strokes. Albert Hammond, Jr., the band’s guitarist has also taken the time between The Strokes albums to make two of his own, Yours To Keep in 06’ and ¿Cómo Te Llama? in 08’. Interesting albums in their own right but lacking the gusto of anything The Strokes have produced.
Casablancas’ album has definite similarities to the albums of The Strokes with a few exceptions. Violins, drum machines, and synth line the tracks of this album, however, accompanied by Casablancas’ signature vocals PHRAZES FOR THE YOUNG begins to take on a ‘what if’ feeling. As in what if The Strokes was a synth filled near 80’s revival band. The intro of the song Left & Right In The Dark sound strikingly similar to the main melody of Walk of Life by the Dire Straits. But this album is more than that, the diverse instrumental coupling, synthetic or not, allows for the uniquely constructed to get its vision across. The goal of PHRAZES FOR THE YOUNG, as well as its’ title, was inspired by the Oscar Wild quote “Phrases and Philosophies for the Use of the Young,” in that Casablancas tries to both tap into the heart of popular music currently out there while at the same time incorporating his own interpretations. In other words, PHRAZES FOR THE YOUNG is a trend album based on what Casablanacas likes and wants to add to. The songs of this album run slightly longer than most alt-rock albums, perhaps making up for the minimal number of tracks that make up the album. With only eight tracks and shortest song having a run time of 4:05 one shouldn’t feel too upset given the full run time of the album finishes up a little after the 40 minute mark. For The Strokes fan base this will be a nice departure into ‘what if land’ comforted in the knowledge that with the experimental forces at work within the members of the band being met in side projects their next album, set to be released in early 2010, will stand true to the style and spirit of The Strokes.