Julian Casablancas - Phrazes For The Young - Is Not A Strokes Record

Now that Pitchfork have taken the scalpel to "Phrazes For The Young", coming out swinging with a link through to a Letterman performance of The Strokes' "Take It Or Leave It", I thought I'd jump in and level things out. (And for the record the irony of comparing the old and the new is not lost on me, it's obviously "The Forks" at their very best). This isn't a Strokes record. Casablancas could have put together another rock record - by himself as he did with the first two Strokes records - but then what would have been the point? "Phrazes For The Young" does go all over the place - I'll give you that - but that's probably a good thing. The opening keyboard riff of "11th Dimension" feels like a preset from an old-school Casio keyboard, a guitar solo running through the second verse from the album opener, "Out Of The Blue", sounds like melodic cock-rock, "4 Chords Of The Apocalypse Young" is a laidback bluesy blowout, again featuring those duelling guitar riffs. It's not an album that will hook everyone, but it is full of fun summer jams probably best consumed baking in the sun, drinking cider. And it does leave the door open for Casablancas to next do what he wants, hopefully bringing back that fire that so consumed him when he fronted the Strokes.

"Phrazes For The Young" is out now on Sony. The Julian Casablancas website is more Bladerunner than you. And for the record I work for Modular and don't do record reviews.