Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Julian Casablancas review for JC Report

Put A Record On: Julian Casablancas Is All Grown Up
November 4th, 2009 | New York

Julian Casablancas, the frontman of NYC's hipster-rock outfit The Strokes, has finally caved in and recorded a solo album. While loyal fans await his group's fourth studio album, Casablancas has appeased our eager ears with Phrazes For The Young, a short but sweet collection of pop songs.

Despite being off the musical radar for the past few years, Casablancas has not been completely inactive— he's recorded collaborations with Pharrell Williams and Danger Mouse, while keeping a finger on the pulse of New York's ever growing music scene. Phrazes For The Young sees him trying concepts and song ideas that must have been discarded as not Strokes-y enough, but also belie a newfound maturity that suits him well.

With the successful solo careers of former bandmates Albert Hammond Jr. and Fabrizzio Moretti, it's now Casablancas' turn to enter a new phase of his musical sound and breadth. Though a few songs might fit comfortably onto The Strokes' breakout debut This Is It—most notably "River Of Brake Light—there's plenty of innovative experimentation to go around. The eight songs put together with Bright Eyes' partner Mike Mogis, have an epic and euphoric sound that shows a new side to the grown-up frontman.

"Ludlow Street" is arguably one of the albums best tracks. In this ode to the Big Apple, Casablancas manages to dwell on the city's proud history while lambasting the greedy yuppies, who, he claims, are destroying its reputation. Phrazes For The Young is another notch in the bedpost as the Strokes and its members steadily work towards musical world domination.

Phrazes For The Young is out now. For more information, see

—David Hellqvist

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