Find Me On:
“He got punched in the mouth for sticking his nose in other peoples business.” Julian Casablancas sneers halfway through Gratification, the 8th cut off of ANGLES. A line delivered with such a cool confidence that, at first, you can’t even believe he sang it. A verse or two later, Casabancas warns his girl for the night, that she will never “get this love…” That, “we can roll around in the dark, that’s about as far as we go… get up in the morning and RUN!” It is a role reversal not often heard in popular music… and, if so, certainly not delivered with such romantic poise… a direct “don’t kid yourself, darling”, Big Daddy Julian knows he has the upper hand. This attitude, which for the most case, has always been The Strokes (not so) secret ingredient, and what sets them apart from all the rest of the bands striving pull off what The Strokes have always done so, seemingly, without effort. And also what sets ANGLES apart from the rest of the musical offerings of 2011. We are better than you, Period.
ANGLES is the first blatant announcement that the The Strokes are changing gears, and perhaps, maybe even getting off at the next exit. Once again Casablancas announces his disdain for the laziness of his peers by fearlessly belting out that he’s been “all around this town… Everybody’s singing the same song for TEN YEARS!” (Under Cover of Darkness) Like it, or not, it’s time for something different. There has never been any hidden agenda with Julian Casablancas, pushing the envelope has always been his style. Why. it was just a few short years ago that he could be heard chastising his band mates: “Yeah, the night’s not over. You’re not trying hard enough. Our lives are changing lanes. You ran me off the road. The wait is over. I’m now taking over.” (Reptilia)
Keep Up! was the message.
Next came the right hook in the form of a knock-out solo album, that contained another message: I can (and will) do it without you. Suddenly, panic ensued. And a feeling of urgency filled the air…
That want ANGLES is. It’s an urgent album from a band that is hesitant to change direction, with a front man who knows they must. Still, the beauty in this sometimes flawed effort is Casablancas’ conviction… the magic in it, is that it is contagious. And that is why ANGLES is vital – it is an open diary of one of America’s true Rock n’ Roll treasures – we should all feel fortunate that we are allowed to peek. That is why it should be amongst SG’s top 50. That, and the fact that this one very talented group of seasoned rockers… and they ARE better than you!
I hope this proves to be a good enough reason for me to appreciate this album, mr, freshie, and be disappointed that it did not receive any recognition on the above mentioned list.
why don’t you start by licking my nuts.
Of course it was hyperbole… it didn’t occur to me that sarcasm or exaggeration by be lost on these threads… nonetheless, i appreciate your comment & i understand how my meaning may have been misconstrued. Not that I ever imagined that a 2 sentence comment would conjure up this much controversy… But perhaps I should have worded it a little differently. Such as:
Half these bands would not even exist if not for the influence of The Strokes, and yet, their BRILLIANT 2011 release goes unnoticed… as does the MAJESTIC POP MASTERPIECE of one of their greatest influences: The Feelies. Like I said before, I thought Pitchfork was incompetent.
But as Royal Tenenbaum once said, “Well, Sweetie… don’t get mad at me. That’s ONLY one man’s opinion.”
Anyway, check out HERE BEFORE & ANGLES. I think you’ll enjoy them.
well that explains everything.
No, I think Justin & Bradley (Bradford?) would be a short-order cook and a dishwasher, respectively.
My premises? Well, to start, I’ve listened to both ANGLES (The Strokes > release March 2011) & HERE BEFORE (The Feelies > April 2011), repetitively. I think that listening to the album(s) that you are commenting on is an important part of the critiquing process. Nevertheless, my point was that neither of these albums, which are both superb, were mentioned in SG’s top 50. Which I regard as a tremendous over-sight. But let’s move on.
Again, no, I don’t think that I am overestimating the historic importance of The Strokes. Particularly since IS THIS IT was named Album of the Decade in 2010, and STEREOGUM themselves found the album worthy of tribute earlier this year – also a release (for lack of a better word) that I would have easily place in this year’s top 50. That’s being said, I think comparing IS THIS IT to ANGLES is along the same lines as trying to compare LONDON CALLING to COMBAT ROCK. Where LONDON CALLING & IS THIS IT are, in my opinion, both ground-breaking, COMBAT ROCK & ANGLES are both just great rock n’ roll albums, and thus, deserving of recognition on their own. It’s apples to oranges.
Do I believe that The Strokes were influential? Absolutely. Do I believe that they were far more influential than the now defunct White Stripes? Without question. I also believe that ANGLES is a stronger effort than, say, KING OF LIMBS > of which I thought the REMIX of which was a sublimely entertaining release, but yet again, no mention. For sure, Mr Howard, you can’t argue Radiohead’s influence on current bands/musicians, can you? KING OF LIMBS is no OK COMPUTER, but it still managed to land at #30. If a band that influenced them, reformed after 20 years (The Feelies – of all its original members, mind you; and a band that has been sighted as a major influence on the now defunct REM) and put out a killer album… actually, I might even go as far as calling it a pop masterpiece… would you simply dismiss it as an old band regurgitating the past? Why would it not qualify as current, worthy & important(?), which is exactly what it is.
As for The Strokes… maybe they are just too smart. And talented. Folks hate that shit.
By my logic, you sir, are a horse’s ass.
Half these bands would not even exist if not for the influence of The Strokes, and yet, their 2011 release goes unnoticed… as does one of their greatest influences: The Feelies. Like I said before, I thought Pitchfork was incompetent.
your magazine is as empty as your list.
no STROKES? and i thought pitchfork was incompetent…