Sunday, April 14, 2013

If We're Gonna Talk About Music: The Strokes

I was first introduced to the music of the strokes after watching the film 'Marie Antoinette' (and then purchasing the soundtrack). I felt like 'Whatever Happened' was the perfect song for that moment in the movie and that overall it was just a perfect sort of song. One of those songs that you can easily get lost in, it's great to sing along to and when it comes on it's tempting to put it on repeat. 

After that, and a few itunes previews, I found myself to be slowly collecting CDs by the band. The songs weren't all sing along songs where you could catch on to the lyrics easily, but they were a great listen, transporting me to this world of apartment buildings with poky windows and loud base guitars or cars with stereos turned up, grungy looking T-shirts, jeans, pin-up girls, high-school reunions, American proms... At least that's what I got from it. 

One of the most memorable things about this band would probably have to be the look I got from the sales guy at the JB Hi-Fi store where I bought the 'Is This It?' album. It was the monochrome cover with the black glove (I haven't put it on here because it may come across as a little indecent) and it looks kinda like it's resting on a knee or a butt (It's a little difficult to tell). The guy at the registers had an expression that was a mixture of horrified and confused. And, my sister was also quite surprised at the cover. I was a little annoyed by this because guys can buy this stuff with out a second look, but a girl? No, she gets judged for it. I'm really glad that I bought that album though, because it's really really good.

The Strokes is probably classified as Indie rock. It's surprising how many people don't know who they are and yet it's surprising how many people do. To me they resemble this sort of relaxed "cool". Somebody who didn't like the band once told me that it looks like they are "trying really hard to not try" and in some cases (especially the 'Reptillia' music video) it seems kind of true. I kind of appreciate that though, because on some level many of us are "trying really hard to not try".


  1.  I love Julian Casablancas' voice. I love that he can have these cruisy deep vocals in one song (like in 'Automatic Stop') and almost growl in another (like in 'Juicebox')
  2. I love the sometimes fast paced riffs in a lot of the songs. The songs aren't exactly up-beat, but the guitar "strokes" are always changing and quick. I guess it's one of their defining characteristic as a band. The riffs are really catchy too. I like that there is always a quick and a slow element to their music. 
  3. I like that they aren't a typical boy band. They don't sing cheesy pop-rock songs and don't try the whole faux prince charming thing. Many of their songs might be about girls, but they aren't always the nicest of lyrics. To me they seem more honest and poetic than anything marketed specifically for a female audience. (Not that the strokes are particularly marketed for anyone) even if some of the lyrics clash with my morals. 
  4. While the band has evolved and changed, a small part of the original 'The Strokes' music has remained. 
  5. I love that they just keep on releasing 'The Strokes' albums regardless of other outside projects that take place. I hope they keep on releasing more.
  • I really like 'Reptilia' because of how upbeat and urgent the song is. 
  • I really like 'Hard to Explain'. I think it's probably my favourite song of theirs. And, it's the sort of song that I can kind of relate to. 
  • I really like 'Happy Ending' from the new album 'Comedown Machine'.
  • I really like 'Heart in a Cage' which is another upbeat one.
The Strokes have released a total of 5 albums and I am privileged enough to own each one. It think my top two would be 'Is This It?' and 'Room On Fire'. 

  • My Favourite would have to be 'Hard to Explain'. I love that the song and the video footage of cars and video games work pretty well with it.
  • I also really like 'The End Has No End'
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