Phrazes for the Young

Studio Album by released in 2009
Phrazes for the Young's tracklist:
Out of the Blue
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Left & Right in the Dark
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11th Dimension
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4 Chords of the Apocalypse
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Ludlow St.
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River of Brakelights
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Phrazes for the Young review

Julian Casablancas’ solo work is of special interest

Julian Casablancas is one of the founders, the main songwriter and vocalist of the renowned band The Strokes which has become one of the best on the American indie-rock scene. At the same time he has not only recommended himself as a good vocalist but also as a multi-instrumentalist playing rhythm guitar, bass guitars and drums both for his band and some other performers and collectives which witnesses his good sense of rhythm and tune. Nevertheless judging by everything this man has too many ideas to realize them within the frames of The Strokes only. In fact the same is true about some other band members: guitarist Albert Hammond, Jr., bassist Nikolai Fraiture and drummer Fabrizio Moretti's have recorded solo albums but it is Casablancas’ work that presents special interest to the audience. This is not devoid of point. If Julian Casablancas played garage rock with some indie-elements with The Strokes then on his debut album Phrases For The Young he has turned to electronic motifs against the background of which his completely new, unexpected and quite successful lyrical inventions are revealed.

Harmonious and complete songs on Phrases For The Young

If you take a look at the play-list of Phrases For The Young, you will be surprised by the relatively small number of tracks – there are only 8 here, but the shortest lasts over four minutes, these are rather long compositions in general. Besides, the farther you go in the track’s number the vaster the difference between The Strokes’ music and Casablancas’ own pieces grows. The record producers are Jason Lader and Mike Mogis (the musician known by the projects Bright Eyes and Monsters of Folk), due to them the songs sound harmonious and complete. The album opens with Out Of The Blue, a composition performed by a more familiar Julian than he is on the others as his favorite melancholic atmosphere and easy-going rhythm are mixed here. Then the things get much more interesting: the electronic ballad Left & Right In The Dark is not only remarkable for a memorable emotional chorus but also for wise lyrics dwelling upon the problem of getting to know the world. Even more unexpected is the first single 11th Dimension – the musicians really lets himself go here performing a great danceable song that sounds like a message from another planet. Another ballad 4 Chords Of The Apocalypse can boast the most beautiful accompaniment on the album and once again some complicated lyrics, while the longest song on the album Ludlow St., undoubtedly proves to be also the most many-layered, changeable and bold. The album closes with a very melodious and original composition Tourist, pleasing both with the vocal and instrumental parts and leaving the listener in the state of space euphoria.

The most varied themes and the widest range of emotions

Luckily or not but remaining the part of The Strokes, Julian Casablancas did not feel like having an opportunity to record the songs like those on his debut album. The record Phrazes For The Young probably serves only as a beginning as the artist’s huge potentials are but obvious on it and we are evidently yet to appreciate him as he deserves. Freely covering the most varied themes from love to birth and death and expressing the widest range of emotions Julian remains a normal guy with a sense of humor self-confident enough to carry out bold experiments. Besides the album title also witnesses that Casablancas himself thinks his music good and in a certain sense true or right – Phrazes For The Young is a reference to Oscar Wild’s essay ‘Phrases And Philosophies For The Use Of The Young’. Thus one can take Julian Casablancas and his disc both seriously and critically but no matter what people will talk about him, listen to his music and anticipate his following solo works maybe even more eagerly than the works of The Strokes.

Alexandra Zachernovskaya (05.11.2009)
Rate review3.82
Total votes - 40