Even though Julian Casblancas is the singer and main songwriter for the Strokes, he doesn’t pursue the Strokes sound or even emphasize his voice on this debut solo album. Instead, he jams himself into the mix and explores a different take on retro than his retro-garage band. “Out of the Blue” kicks things off with a heavily compressed wall of sound, the soothing ‘oohs’ of the chorus lost in a swirl of ‘60s-inspired guitars and keyboards. “Left & Right In the Dark” begins with a soothing roller-rink organ and processed vocals layered among the staccato guitar licks, sounding like slightly more edgy ‘70s MOR. “11th Dimension” sports happy synthesizers for an ‘80s dance party. “4 Chords of the Apocalypse” channels a ‘60s R&B ballad through the automaton sounds of the ‘80s. “Ludlow St.” throws in a country music lope amidst its cramped keyboard heavy arrangement. “River of Brakelights” ramps up the Gary Numan “Cars” influence as it swings out of control. “Glass” slows things for an electro ballad. “Tourist” closes things out with a swinging gait, some deep bass rumbles and Casablancas’ lazy-man vocals rolling right into the cascading keyboards.
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