Julian Casablancas - Phrazes For The Young

Oli Shilling 14/12/2009

Rating: 3/5

Like many others, I looked forward to this solo album, based on the brilliance of his band The Strokes. However, I cannot say I'm that impressed by frontman Julian Casablancas' solo effort. Lead single '11th Dimension' sparked a bit of interest, but it sounded like something we'd heard before, only slightly less good. Still, this is one of the better songs on the album. 'Phrazes For The Young' has a strange attitude about it, often I'm left thinking that Jools has turned into a forty-something veteran taking a depressing look back on a long career or trying to emulate Johnny Cash. Not what you expected? Me neither.

Most of the songs here are easily forgettable, and when I take the time to listen to the lyrics carefully they seem self-centred and uninspiring. For me the diamond in the rough is certainly 'Tourist', with a strong beat and a catchy riff, but it's not hard to stand out on such a dull collection.

Maybe I'm comparing this album too much with his work with The Strokes, but even when I imagine that this is a release from a new artist, I can't find much appeal. In fact, despite being generally uninteresting, at least the lyrics give an insight into how Casablancas may look back on his work with The Strokes, and the years following.

In the early 2000's The Strokes set the pace for the decade with spontaneity and originality, but the pace here is slow, as Casablancas seems suffocated of inspiration, leaving an album with a lot to be desired. Lets just hope the long awaited new Strokes album reignites his creativity.