First Impressions Of Earth

  • Record Label: RCA
  • Release Date: Jan 3, 2006
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. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. But if the group has grown deadlier and more dynamic in their five years together, singer Julian Casablancas still struggles as a lyricist.
  5. The Strokes indulge their every whim, and the results are their weakest album yet.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. First Impressions of Earth is the sound of the Strokes taking a formal, technical, and emotional leap forward, but leaving the tunes behind.
  11. Unfortunately, attempts to abandon [their] formula offer little evidence that they can excel at anything else.
  12. The album would be yet another trademark Strokes outing if not for its glaring inconsistency in the later tracks.
  13. 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.
  14. Under The Radar
    60
    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]
  15. Mojo
    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]
  16. Uncut
    60
    The ambition's hampered by Julian Casablancas' sad-sack singing. [Feb 2006, p.68]
  17. Q Magazine
    60
    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]
  18. Paste Magazine
    60
    The Strokes don't have much of their own to say here. [Dec 2005, p.106]
  19. Billboard
    60
    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]
User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 413 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 16 out of 211
  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 lyricsNever 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 thisThe 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 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 »