First Impressions Of Earth

  • Record Label: RCA
  • Release Date: Jan 3, 2006
User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 407 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 33 out of 407

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  1. danb.
    Jan 5, 2006
    5
    who told whathisname he could be a crooner? he, like, really tries to *sing* here. for me, it doesn't work. it just ends up making him sound even less articulate and sleepy than usual. liked the last two albums... this one might grow on me but i've listened about ten times already, so, doubt it.
  2. AdamP.
    Apr 3, 2008
    4
    A poor album and a shame after enjoying this is it and room on fire. A shambles.
  3. ChrisD
    Jan 16, 2006
    6
    I must admit i'm not the biggest Strokes fan. I dont dislike them they have never grabbed me the way they have done to so many others. I stiil acknowledge thought that the band is taleneted and that Last Night will remain an anthem for years to come. So we come to their third album. after two albums which sounded excatly the same. With the lead single Juicebox offering so much and I must admit i'm not the biggest Strokes fan. I dont dislike them they have never grabbed me the way they have done to so many others. I stiil acknowledge thought that the band is taleneted and that Last Night will remain an anthem for years to come. So we come to their third album. after two albums which sounded excatly the same. With the lead single Juicebox offering so much and hinting in new directions i was overall disapoinited. The first three tracks promising and catchy biut by the 8th track i got bored. And dont even get me started on Track 7- Ask Me Anything. I can only hope that after a few more listens it will grow on me and I will appreciate the album like so many others seemed to have. Not for me I'm afraid. the repetive guitar and drony vocals just dont grab me but if you are a Strokes fan i suppose you will like it as all my friends who adore them seem to love it. Expand
  4. GH
    Jan 10, 2006
    4
    I was hoping it would be great and was upbeat with the first tune on the cd, but then it tanks badly....it is the first and last Strokes album I will purchase
  5. TylerW
    Jan 2, 2006
    5
    It sucks.
  6. TomB
    Jan 3, 2006
    6
    not bad, not great.
  7. DickC
    Feb 5, 2006
    6
    The first disappointment of 2006.
  8. Jae
    Jan 11, 2006
    6
    Critics often labeled the Strokes as a novelty band in which their style of music could not persist. The Strokes gave the finger to all of them and appeared to not give a sh*t. But with this new release, they seem to be self-concious and insecure. Most of the songs seem disingenuous and contrived are evidence of that. Change is good but not when it is forced which this album mostly feels Critics often labeled the Strokes as a novelty band in which their style of music could not persist. The Strokes gave the finger to all of them and appeared to not give a sh*t. But with this new release, they seem to be self-concious and insecure. Most of the songs seem disingenuous and contrived are evidence of that. Change is good but not when it is forced which this album mostly feels like. Its too bad, I was really expecting more or less the same type of album as their last two which is not a bad thing at all. Expand
  9. JotaP
    Jan 19, 2006
    6
    My vote is in fact a 5,5. I consider the Strokes a 3 time "one hit wonder", with one hit per album. After Las Nite and 12:51 they give us Juicebox now. It's a great song, followed by far by the rest of the songs in the album, clearly bellow avarage.
  10. FernandoL
    Jan 4, 2006
    5
    Not the best album of the band, that's a fact. Really The Strokes is a good band but this is not a good first impression, better the other two before this.
  11. AK
    Jan 5, 2006
    6
    Strokes sound better when their songs are under 3 minutes.
  12. eduardoa
    Jan 8, 2006
    6
    The strokes is a good band, one of the best there are out there, but certainly this is not their best effort, like moy said there are songs that are amazing, brilliant I might say yet there are others that are sooooo bad that I wouldn't have even picked them for a B-side's release, anyway they will comeback to being the great band they've allways been right when they The strokes is a good band, one of the best there are out there, but certainly this is not their best effort, like moy said there are songs that are amazing, brilliant I might say yet there are others that are sooooo bad that I wouldn't have even picked them for a B-side's release, anyway they will comeback to being the great band they've allways been right when they realize that there's no way that they can make a good record with more than 11 songs. Right now I will concentrate on those great songs in here, my personal favorites are: Ize of the world and Vision of Division, hear them ... you'll not be disapointed Expand
  13. jamesl
    Feb 6, 2006
    6
    There are a couple good songs, but too much of it sounds the same. In this case shorter would have went a longer way.
  14. Oligami
    Sep 11, 2007
    6
    Uneven. Some of it is more aggressive and in-your-face than their older songs, and some of it is just boring.
  15. TomC
    Apr 11, 2006
    6
    I think they lost a lot of the their traid sound in this album, they got rid of the raw sounding vocals. they kind of changed their style. i was a bit upset with it. 1st two albums were great tho.
  16. May 25, 2012
    6
    After an excellent debut album and a very solid follow up the Strokes came back with record number 3 - First Impressions of Earth. Despite a very strong opening section of the album, the bands limits are there for all to see this time out. At 14 tracks it's got far too many filler tracks and has a couple of really terrible songs as well. The album is completely front loaded with theAfter an excellent debut album and a very solid follow up the Strokes came back with record number 3 - First Impressions of Earth. Despite a very strong opening section of the album, the bands limits are there for all to see this time out. At 14 tracks it's got far too many filler tracks and has a couple of really terrible songs as well. The album is completely front loaded with the records 3 singles the first 3 tracks on it. Noteworthy moments are few and far between after these. Fans might say they tried out new things here and thats fair enough but the quality just isn't there consistently. Saved by it's singles. Expand
  17. May 19, 2016
    6
    This album is easily the third best Strokes album to date after the directionless Angles and the completely half-hearted, half-assed Comedown Machine. There is quite a bit of filler on this album, however and the claims of the Strokes trying to sound like every other band ring half true with tracks like On the Other Side, Killing Lies, Ask Me Anything, and Vision of Division. TheThis album is easily the third best Strokes album to date after the directionless Angles and the completely half-hearted, half-assed Comedown Machine. There is quite a bit of filler on this album, however and the claims of the Strokes trying to sound like every other band ring half true with tracks like On the Other Side, Killing Lies, Ask Me Anything, and Vision of Division. The shallowness and seamless-- yawning even-- cool of the first two records is seemingly replaced with a hangover-ish mistrust and tired aggravation. But also, great songs. Juicebox and Razorblade take the Strokes classic sound and evolve it with highly inspired rhythm section performances from drummer Fab Moretti and bassist Nikolai Fraiture, who put out their A game on this record, while guitarists Albern Hammond Jr. and Nick Valensi make a heavy duty armory out of two guitars creating memorable licks on songs like You Only Live Once, Heart In a Cage, Razorblade (second time being mentioned, huh) and Ize of the World. The album easily has some of the best melodies on a Strokes record hidden between some of the greater and lesser tracks. However one of the biggest pitfalls the Strokes seemed to fall into while making this record is not choosing their best work and not editing the 15 songs they had into a concise statement. One of the best songs of the recording sessions, "Hawaii", is relegated to B-side status. It is breezy and carefree in a way that could almost be used as a breather on the otherwise tense and not very cheerful album. On Ask Me Anything Julian Casablancas admits to not having a thing to say, while the album itself begs to differ. However when Red Light echoes this sentiment while declaring no one else does, it takes all the lyricism about not trusting anything-- including sleep, a motif heavily used on this album (with songs like 15 Minutes, Ize of the World, Evening Sun, and Fear of Sleep describing dreams, mistrust of people, industry, and even said dreams) that if set up correctly could have been lauded as brilliant-- and essentially throws it in the trash. Great songs are placed next to not great tracks (Electricityscape is easily the best song on this album, yet it does not get any play or respect despite being melodically superior and evolving the Strokes sound into the mood and tone of the album best). While many would argue replacing Gordon Raphael with David Kahne was a bad move (it more or less was), his production is not terrible for the time, aside from the audio clipping characteristic of this era of music, and fits the cold, robotic, clockwork mode the band were in at the time. The overall problem, however is merely the Strokes inability to properly self edit. Sacrifice derailing or ridiculous songs like On the Other Side, Ask Me Anything, Killing Lies, and Vision of Division, add fan favorite Hawaii back into the track list and rearrange the songs into a cohesive tale and we'd have a great album. Putting the three singles at the beginning does nothing to make people want to hear the rest of the album, especially with total duds in the fray. Lead single Juicebox is a harder rocking song than most of the Strokes back catalog and even most of the record prior. Why wouldn't it be track 9 of an 11 track album? Why would Red Light get honor of being last track when it could easily serve as a late beginning track right before the middle? Why not take the commentary of the trilogy of 15 Minutes, Ize of the World and Evening Sun and put it dead center, instead of last? With those three sitting center of the album, a buildup song like Fear of Sleep could end the album and the repetitive nature would only solidify the fear of dreaming motif 15 Minutes, Ize of the World and Evening Sun set up better. With that, I give an alternate tracklisting for the album, that I call "Last Impressions of Earth":
    1. You Only Live Once
    2. Hawaii (B-side to Juicebox, a really good track that balances out the mopey tone)
    3. Razorblade
    4. Red Light (another very Stroke-y song that does not work as a closer, but rather the warm up for the middle of the album which would be an improper shift in tone without this gem to toe the line)
    5. 15 Minutes (the beginning of the more emotionally appealing middle)
    6. Ize of the World
    7. Evening Sun (underrated; a beautiful companion piece to the feaster paced Hawaii)
    8. Electricityscape
    9. Juicebox (see? Isn't there more pay off when it is led up to a-la New York City Cops & The Way It Is??)
    10. Heart in a Cage
    11. Fear of Sleep (does not work where it was originally placed, too repetitive and too much build up; works well as a closer)
    Give this rearranged version a try. I find it is more cohesive, less mopey or "evil" and has better peaks, valleys and payoff as both a Strokes album and even just an album on its own. However, the original work could not be said the same of, like a lump of coal showing some diamond beneath, but never fully compressed to reach its shiniest, or best, form
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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. Blender
    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]
  2. 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!
  3. 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.