Phrazes For The Young

  • Record Label: RCA
  • Release Date: Nov 3, 2009
Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 24
  2. Negative: 1 out of 24
  1. Whenever Casablancas strains for seriousness, the album loses focus....When he concentrates on making pop music, however, Phrazes for the Young is a blast.
  2. A few songs have the old leather-jacket kick, but things get weirder as he explores alienation from a Lower East Side he once ruled.
  3. 'Ludow St' is lyrically smart, musically ambitious, more than any other track on Phrazes, it makes you wonder, if not regret, why the Strokes themselves never pushed the boat out this far. For that reason alone, it was worth Casablancas making this intriguing if imperfect record. [Nov 2009, p.98]
  4. The irony is that Phrazes for the Young is so smoothed over--nearly all of Casablancas' trademark vocal roughness is airbrushed into oblivion--it instantly sounds like a plexiglass-covered museum piece.
  5. With the Strokes, Casablancas exploits the tension between his behind-the-beat, just-woke-up vocals and the band’s hurtling rhythms. On Phrazes, the slower-moving tempos match the unhurried pace of his distinctive croon, and the melodies and arrangements aren’t strong enough to make up for the loss in urgency.
  6. If it were anyone else, this record would be fine. Solid. Entertaining. But it's not anyone else--Julian Casablancas, lead singer of The Strokes. As such, you look for more and expect to tune in to find Julian doing the same.
  7. It's not all awful, and it's certainly not Gene Simmons doing "When You Wish Upon A Star," but it sure ain't the Strokes, either.
User Score
9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 76 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 19
  2. Negative: 1 out of 19
  1. Oct 30, 2014
    10
    I honestly would give this album an 11 if I could. Julian Casablancas is not only a great musician, but also a great lyricist. While he,I honestly would give this album an 11 if I could. Julian Casablancas is not only a great musician, but also a great lyricist. While he, himself is not too fond of this album for its so called "mainstream sound." I think it is great. Every song is pure poetry, and some songs like "Glass" or "11th Dimension" could be multiple poems if separated correctly. This album is clearly underrated and continues with the trend of mine "I have never bought an album Julian Casablancas was involved in that I didn't like." I listen to this music almost daily, and if not, it's at least on my mind all the time. I will always keep a CD copy of this in my car, and in my home. I burn CD's of this album to share with my friends so they can enjoy it. And it only gets better. If you look on youtube there are acoustic versions of "11th Dimension", "River of Breaklights", and "4 Chords of the Apocalypse" that are PHENOMENAL! Although Julian seems to flub-up the words a few times, the sound of just guitar and his raw vocals almost knocked me out of my office chair. SERIOUSLY... GET THIS ALBUM!!! Full Review »
  2. Dec 6, 2013
    10
    I think this album is too underrated by the critics, all the songs in "Phrazes For The Young" capture that somewhat 80 's 90 's feels veryI think this album is too underrated by the critics, all the songs in "Phrazes For The Young" capture that somewhat 80 's 90 's feels very well and were able to present them in very sophisticated and beautiful electronic sounds! I would give it 9 out of 10, but to compensate the rating i give it 10!!! :D Full Review »
  3. Sep 19, 2013
    5
    [5.5] Although Julian has come a long way from the basic (yet powerful), traditional rock music that made The Strokes, he clearly hasn't ended[5.5] Although Julian has come a long way from the basic (yet powerful), traditional rock music that made The Strokes, he clearly hasn't ended up where he wants to be, and the worst part is he doesn't seem to care. This is become increasingly evident in The Strokes' new music, where it seems like they just want to change their style completely unnecessarily. They don't care how it sounds, they just care that they're putting out music. After listening to this album, it's quite clear that Julian is the main problem with the band's lack of cohesion and consistency. When I listen to this and Comedown Machine (which I enjoyed despite its poor songwriting), all I hear is an artist that can't wait to stop writing music. Much to his own fault, his music lacks the enthusiasm and the sincerity to entertain me like the first two Strokes albums did. I won't say that I didn't like The Strokes after Room On Fire, I just think that it's agreeable to think they don't want to work hard on their music anymore. Full Review »