The New Julian Casablancas Single is Way Better Than You Want to Admit

09/18/2009 4:04 PM |

Tons of people are gonna pretend to be surprised by the fact that this new Julian Casablancas song, “11th Dimension,” the first single from his forthcoming solo album, Phrazes For the Young, is actually kinda great. It features the same ultra-laid-back vocal style he’s known for, but someone, quite possibly Casablancas himself, figured out that if he’s going to do the the exhausted, detached thing with his vocals—and he is, because it’s all he’s got, god bless him—then the other instruments need to pick up the slack, as they do here, with a keyboard line worthy of any “Best of the 80s” compilation and drumbeat that suggests something far more sinister than what comes later.

If there was ever a problem with the Strokes—and judging from the way they fell from prominence just a few years after making the kind of splash that would eventually become de rigeur in indie rock, there definitely was—it’s that there were five people in the band whose sensibilities meshed too well, to the point where every member, every instrument, was doing the exact same thing, and before they knew it, the novelty had worn off and listeners became as exhausted as their once-favorite band had been pretending to be all along.