Tuesday, 15 February 2011

'And altogether it went well' by @diaryofaledger

I was on the cusp of separation when Is This It by the Strokes came out in 2001 but I fell for it after.

It's still one of my favourite albums ever.  The perfect blend of laid back slackers, talent and hipster cool, an album was just too good to be ignored.  They didn't really live up to the hype post Is This It but the debut still lives up to all that attention that was thrown at it.

It screams of New York, of drugs chic and waif thin model girlfriends.  The cover deserves to be borderline iconic alone but it's what's contained within that made everyone swoon.  Every track is special.  No filler just great tunes.

There's a wonderful simplicity to the album, in the playing and production.  It all sounds like it was recorded in one hit which was exactly what The Strokes wanted, a back to basics approach that felt incredibly refreshing at the time.

Julian Casablanca's lyrics and voice are what all the songs hang off.  It's a voice that can hardly be described as glorious but it fits with the music wonderfully well.  The sound of a few too many cigarettes as he struggles to hit a high note and falls into a croak quite brilliantly captured.  The words within the songs paint a picture of living in New York on the cusp of breaking through, urban cool as relationships start and then fizzle out.
See, alone we stand, together we fall apart - Someday
Everyone fell for Last Night.  It's the one that rang out at Indie Disco across the land for about five years and probably still does (I got too old for that shit).  It's still a great tune though, but there's others on the album that are easily it's equal.  Hard to Explain, which follows it, it just, well, fuck awesome.  It even has that little moment of silent perfection.

It was the sound of New York just prior to September the 11th.  The sound of dirty bohemians making great music while they smoked weed and hung out with pretty girls.

One of those albums everyone should own.   

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