Metascore
69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 38
  2. Negative: 0 out of 38
  1. The Strokes indulge their every whim, and the results are their weakest album yet.
  2. While it might be easy to point to the industry guy behind the boards, the album speaks for itself, and the Strokes managed to write a flop all by themselves.
  3. But if the group has grown deadlier and more dynamic in their five years together, singer Julian Casablancas still struggles as a lyricist.
  4. If there is a sense that this is The Strokes' last chance to carve an enduring career for themselves, then it's a challenge they've decided to tackle without any reinvention of their trademark sound. [Feb 2006, p.96]
  5. 60
    The ambition's hampered by Julian Casablancas' sad-sack singing. [Feb 2006, p.68]
  6. 60
    At the heart of this overgrown squall of a record, there's a sense that The Strokes feel they have something to prove. If only they'd been able to decide upon what that is with greater clarity. [Feb 2006, p.88]
  7. Really, this could be the excessive, erratic second album Room On Fire wasn't; if you switched the order of the two albums, Room On Fire would undoubtedly get hailed as their return to form.
  8. Still, it remains a challenge to crack their ice-cool exterior, to really feel things as they feel - but does that matter? The Strokes are, and have always been, a band that looks great at arm's length - and consequently, 'First Impressions Of Earth' remains, in the best way, untouchable: the first - indeed, maybe the last - word in New York City cool.
  9. Casablancas and company sound loose, and they've regained a lot of the coolest-dudes-in-New-York swagger that made them so initially exciting.
  10. Those who love The Strokes will dig the obviously better musicianship.... Those in the hate camp will think the musicianship still sucks. [#12, p.93]
  11. For the first six songs, the whole thing is as exhilarating as Is This It?, it's in a different way, undoubtedly, but there's the same giddy rush of excitement.
  12. Cast away the politics and the last twenty minutes and you'll still be left with two or three top tunes to add to your daily playlists, but it was never going to be ground-breaking or innovative.
  13. 67
    First Impressions may not be the best Strokes album, but damn if it doesn't feel like the last. [Jan 2006, p.88]
  14. When the songwriting falls flat, as on Electricityscape or Ize of the World, it sounds dispiritingly less like the Strokes than a mainstream rock band trying to jump on the Strokes' bandwagon, slightly after the event.
  15. An ambitious, frequently thrilling make-or-break third outing. [13 Jan 2006, p.75]
  16. Sound[s] like the work of a band once again coming into their own. [Feb 2006, p.128]
  17. There is indeed more good than bad. Unfortunately, there is also more bad than there should be.
  18. The Strokes don't have much of their own to say here. [Dec 2005, p.106]
  19. First Impressions introduces some subtle new colors to the band's musical palette... but the pervasive sense of inert boredom, which has been noted as a strength in the past, is difficult to shake.
  20. From the band we never expected to evolve, there is enough sweeping ambition to have knocked us on our heels - if only the members had learned the art of discretion.
  21. 70
    Earth is the sound of a band coming to that inevitable realization: five patrician perfectionists who've resolved to sound sloppy, even (or especially) at the risk of fucking up. [Jan/Feb 2006, p.98]
  22. 82
    A solidly good, if not great, effort from a solidly great, not just good, rock band. [#19, p.89]
  23. Unfortunately, First Impressions of Earth takes a steep drop in quality after “Ask Me Anything” and never finds its way again.
  24. Too frequently on the band's third album, the fun gets lost in difficult song structures and chord changes that deliver less than we have come to expect. [14 Jan 2006]
  25. 80
    Lasting impressions: Unlike sophomore clunker Room On Fire, you'll still be listening to First Impressions in two years and probably digging it even more. [#71, p.113]
  26. "First Impressions of Earth" is their most openly impassioned album. As they lower their emotional guard, they redouble their musical ingenuity, then crank up their attack. [2 Jan 2006]
  27. Though the Strokes' first two efforts clocked in at the low- to mid-30-minute range, First Impressions of Earth orbits 52, and definitely should've split the difference ("15 Minutes"). Impressive nonetheless.
  28. Leaping from the speakers in a fury of jarring axe steel, clocking rhythmic beats and clinical vocal swagger, ultimately this LP gives itself - at some 60 minutes length - an awful lot of time to say very little.
  29. First Impressions of Earth is the first pretty good album of the year.
  30. The album would be yet another trademark Strokes outing if not for its glaring inconsistency in the later tracks.
  31. "First Impressions of Earth" would be better at 40 minutes than it is at 50-plus, and the Strokes' vision still has a definite ceiling, but Julian Casablancas' songs and ever more congested-sounding voice fight mightily to claim a new creative range.
  32. Turns out what the world was waiting for really was those that saved guitars finally making a record that truly reaped the rewards of their efforts. Is this it? OH GOD YES!
  33. Julian Casablancas continues to sing as if roused from a deep sleep, the rhythm section keeps the tunes as puckery tight as the band's trousers and guitarists Nick Valensi and Albert Hammond Jr. balance melodic strumming with some impressive shredding.
  34. First Impressions of Earth is the sound of the Strokes taking a formal, technical, and emotional leap forward, but leaving the tunes behind.
  35. The third time is not the charm, at least in the case of this album, which is polished to the point of being ultimately less appealing and without any angles from which to approach.
  36. It's difficult to listen to the album without coming away with the impression that it should really be two different records. Casablancas' disaffected monotone increasingly seems to belong on a different record from the assured sounds of a band slowly feeling its way out of its pigeonhole.
  37. Unfortunately, attempts to abandon [their] formula offer little evidence that they can excel at anything else.
  38. The Strokes match their innate catchiness with a new found intensity that makes First Impressions of Earth sound like a band hungry for blood.
User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 374 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 16 out of 207
  1. Jun 12, 2011
    10
    Never understood why so many people didn't like it. My favorite album of The Strokes by far. Less catchy than Is this it, I think the lyrics are much better, the music is more complex. It contains masterpieces such as "Evening Sun", "Heart in a Cage" and "Ize of the world". Full Review »
  2. Jan 18, 2011
    8
    The Strokes have no doubt changed their style in music. This sounds like a garage punk album. Julian Casablanca's vocals are louder on this album and he sounds like a punk rocker whereas in their first album Is This It, his voice sounds more smoother. It's a good change. It sounds great. Especially for their third album considering Room On Fire was disappointing. "Juicebox" is my favorite track on this album. "Heart In A Cage" is another great track. And "Ask Me Anything" is also great. All In All, The Strokes haven't made an album as good as their first and they probably never will, but First Impressions Of Earth is a very good album and still shows that The Strokes are still one of the best bands of our generation. B+ Full Review »
  3. JohnnyR
    Jan 11, 2006
    3
    A terrible let down of a record. This album showed the Strokes abandoning what made them great and turn into just another rock band. A blatant disregard to melody, most of the songs are utterly forgettable. TIme will tell but history is bound to cast this as the album when the Strokes turned to shite. Full Review »