Opener "Machu Picchu" starts strong, with Casablancas singing startlingly high and the guitarists laying down reggae-influenced lines during the verses; keep in mind that it was penned by Valensi. Next up is "Under Cover of Darkness," the album's first single. Upon its release, it was seen as a return to form by some and was criticized by others for retreading ground that they had already covered with their first album. It certainly strikes similarities with the style of Is This It, which makes sense given the fact that it was written by the entire band as a whole. It's chock-full of catchy guitar riffs and has a huge chorus, although they decide to change the tempo a bit with a slower Valensi solo. It's the point on the album when The Strokes sound most like The Strokes, and I consider it a highlight.
Third on the album is "Two Kinds of Happiness," which features a chorus far more intense than the verses, and some freaked-out sounding guitar parts. After that, we hear the B-side "You're So Right," penned by bassist Nikolai Fraiture. It is the most experimental moment on the album, and certainly steps further in the direction that First Impressions of Earth hinted at, with very futuristic-sounding electronic parts. Fifth on the album is the Valensi-penned "Taken For A Fool," which was performed on David Letterman a few days after its release. It is a definite highlight on the album, garnering praise even from the most negative reviews of the album. It has a sort of LA showtime vibe to it, and features funky verses that retain the signature Strokes sound while experimenting. The LA part makes sense because Valensi spent a lot of time there while the band were on hiatus, and being the only member who did not start a side project, it seems that he saved some good ideas for The Strokes, such as this. It works perfectly.
I can hardly believe it, but February has come and gone, and we're already in March. Though award season is over, Spring is right on its heels! To help you deal with how fast 2011 is going, I'm reminding you of all the fun entertainment stuff you have to look forward to this month, from movies to music to TV. Click through and then get your calendar out so you don't miss anything!
The Strokes' fourth full-length album will be released next month, but today we get a taste of what's in store with the first single, "Under the Cover of Darkness." It's the same toe-tapping, catchy kind of tune the band is known for, and though it's nothing ground-breaking, it should please fans of The Strokes' earlier hits. I'm looking forward to hearing Angles when it drops March 21, but in the meantime give the song a listen and tell us what you think.
While platinum records and guitar picks would make stellar ornaments for a rock star like Julian Casablancas, the lead singer of The Strokes had something more spectacular in mind for his Christmas tree this year. He commissioned French sculpture artist Marie Christophe to create one of her stunning "mobiles sapin" for his holiday home decor. Made of wire dangling with plastic discs — akin to notes on a page of sheet music — the Calder-esque alterna-tree makes an artistic and harmonious statement in a modern home. Better yet, since the silver wire will not rust, it can even be hung outdoors!
Marie Christophe also created two of her delicate Christmas tree mobiles for the windows of Cartier Paris with turquoise and silver discs several years ago, as well as two mobiles for the windows of posh Tokyo shop Tomorrowland in 2007. Check out some photos of these below.
Now that I've gotten a glimpse of how Casablancas celebrates Christmas, I'm eager to see the rest of his home. I wonder what will be wrapped up in bows under that bad boy: a sophomore effort to follow Phrazes For the Young, s'il te plaît?
Photo courtesy of NBC
The Strokes lead singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Julian Casablancas has a new solo album coming out in early November called Phrazes for the Young. Early reviews are promising, which warms the cockles of my heart, because I love it when the guys I'm crushing on are sexy and talented.
The son of Elite Model Management's Jon Casablancas and Danish model Jeanette Christiansen, Julian inherited his parents' beauty and his dad's business savvy. Does Julian rock your world? What do you think of this pale, brooding musician?
The bedroom of any member of The Strokes is something that millions of girls (including Yours Truly) have dreamt of seeing. So, it's my pleasure to announce that you're all one step closer to Albert Hammond Jr.'s sheets — but not if I beat you to it.
Hammond has put his 1,200-square-foot, two-bedroom, 1.5-bath East Village apartment on the market for $899,000. The property was originally listed for $1.2 million last August, but you know how the housing market is these days. Even though the guitarist and solo artist may not come with the deal, I'd be happy to own his digs (if not his heart). Bright, oversize windows and high-beamed ceilings give it a loft-like feeling and terrific views of the hipsters in Alphabet City. I'm loving the retro red bar stools and blue kitchen tile. Fabulous California Closets, used to store the menswear designer's extensive collection of three-piece suits, are also a plus. Oh, and aspiring rockstar girlfriends, there's bike storage in the basement to keep your fixed-gear safe. See pics when you read more
As I continue to prep for my journey northward to the 2008 Sasquatch Music Festival, I'm sharing music from some of the bands I'm looking forward to checking out live.
I've already written about the soft, intimate vocals of Joshua Morrison and today I'm spotlighting a band that is already a bit hit in the UK: The Kooks. I like to balance out both my iPod as well as my festival-going experience with equal parts pretty song writing and bouncy, upbeat rock. The Kooks provide the latter and sound a little like The Strokes, or a softer version of Arctic Monkeys.
I think their debut album is a lot of fun and happens to have my favorite song on it, "Naive." To check them out for yourself and let me know what you think, read more