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Thursday, October 16, 2003
The RS review of the new Strokes album is vaguely interesting. It doesn't make me want to buy it, though. (Reggae?) But I probably will anyway.
It brings up a semi-interesting point: is it true that "Critics hate to admit they were wrong more than A&R guys"? (Er, which you can shorten to "critics hate to admit they're wrong.") This said, of course, in reference to the positive looks Room on Fire is getting--the implication being that critics don't actually like it, they're just covering their asses. Which is ludicrous. Critics love to tear down a sophomore album, especially the NME, who were notorious Strokesophiles.
But this one isn't getting torn down, while also not (apparently) being very spectacular; I certainly haven't heard any actual fans raving about it like David Fricke does. So what's the explanation? Maybe it's that what critics actually want from a second album is more of the same, pretty much; a "realization" of the sound on the first one, tempered only (of course) by acknowledgments of criticism made by critics. But maybe I'm being overly cynical.
Third albums, though...that's a whole different story. What the hell do critics want for that? A whole reinvention? It would be interesting to find bands that retained critical cred for their first three or four albums and see what kind of arc, either musically or promotionally, they took. Hmm.