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Music Review: Jules’ long awaited act is an indie hit

Marla Bahloul
Arts Editor

Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas has created a revolutionary album, straying from the norm of indie stardom created by the New York band, and stepping onto a synthpop, alternative platform.

Yes, “Phrazes For The Young” differs greatly from the successes of The Strokes’ past albums, but Casablancas has done it yet again. It has been long awaited as other members of the  Strokes have pursued side projects far before him.

The eight tracks on the album provide listeners with an experience far different than those provided by “Is This It,” “Room on Fire,” and “First Impressions Of The Earth.”

Casablancas’ melancholic voice is a soothing therapy that infuses lyrical genius along with brilliant composition. Bonus tracks of the album, provided on Casablancas’ official Web page, extend the experience, continuing the message of “Phrazes for the Young.”

The album’s first track, “Out Of The Blue” is a cry of teenage angst. “Yes, I know I’ll go to hell in a leather jacket,” is one of the many lines of the song that prompts the overall attitude of “Phrazes For The Young.”

Strokes aficionados know the first rule to attaining that indie swagger is to bear a thrift-store leather jacket, that seems to cost well over $100, and wear it at all times—even during that scorching Southern California weather.

Casablancas, who spent the majority of his Los Angeles stay in Silverlake, adopted a style that all learn to appreciate. “11th Dimension,” the album’s hit, explores the triviality of meek disagreements. It is a song of self-empowerment, with a neon-like feel.

Julian’s vocals provide the retro lyrical content that is tastefully accompanied by a futuristic assortment of instruments. It also solidifies his stance as the driving force behind the Strokes.

His ability to write songs for the Strokes’ past three albums adds much credibility to his solo career as he proves yet again that he has what it takes.

“Phrazes For The Young” has opened up a new realm to the world of music. It is a non-conforming album whose intention is not to go mainstream, but rather to simply produce a good record.

Marla Bahloul can be reached at

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