Phrazes for the Young
(RCA/Cult Records; 2009)
In nearly four years of hiatus, four of The Strokes have turned to personal or group side projects. Frontman and principal songwriter, Julian Casablancas has strayed the furthest from their signature lo-fi, hooky sound with his solo debut, Phrazes for the Young.
The album can clearly be divided into an upbeat, poppy A-Side and a slow, cool B-Side.
Boasting crisp, intelligent lyrics, Casablancas’ rich drawl is no longer hidden by the filters that defined the Strokes’ sound. Phrazes has a little bit of everything, from “4 Chords of the Apocalypse,” a Sam Cooke-like soul ballad, to “11th Dimension,” a throwback to the best of 80s pop.
Somehow Casablancas ties it all together neatly and manages to make it work.
Trial Track: “11th Dimension”